Korean retail giant Lotte buys Qld’s Sandalwood feedlot
The deal arguably represents the biggest feedlot asset sale seen in Australia since the divestment of Myola feedlot to Bindaree Beef in 2016. While Japanese businesses have made a number of Australian feedlot acquisitions over the past 40 years, the Sandalwood sale is believed to be the first such investment by a Korean company. Lotte Mart is a giant east Asian hypermarket chain with 200 stores in South Korea, plus smaller divisions in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The company has been a long-term customer for Australian export beef, mostly grainfed. It is well known that Lotte has been a substantial user of custom-feeding services at Sandalwood feedlot for the past five years, with its grain-finished export cattle processed at the John Dee export abattoir at Warwick. Since its establishment in 1986, Sandalwood has been one of Australia’s best-known feedlot businesses, relying primarily on custom-feeding of other owners’ cattle. The yard feeds a range of types from domestic yearling through to shortfed and mid-fed export, and has fed Wagyu in large numbers since 1993. ased on Beef Central’s earlier Top 25 Lotfeeders report, Sandalwood is ranked the fifteenth largest feedlot business in Australia, with 15,290 standard cattle units. In practical terms when lighter cattle are factored in, that means the one-time operating capacity is between 17,000 and 18,000 head. Sandalwood’s array of seven Harvestore towers used to produce high-moisture reconstituted grain have a capacity of 4000t of dry grain One of the yard’s key points of difference is that it is one of very few Australian feedlots employing the high-moisture reconstitution grain treatment process, instead of steam-flaking. A bank of seven large navy blue Harvestore towers, with a capacity of 4000t of dry grain, are a defining feature of the infrastructure around the yard, providing the ability to reconstitute grain on a large scale. The sale includes the feedlot, milling, storage and stock handling infrastructure plus five adjoining parcels of farming country totalling around 1500ha used mostly for silage and hay production.