Producers lag service providers in agribusiness value

Companies further up the agribusiness production chain produced greater returns for investors than basic producers, research by Australian Agribusiness Group into listed agribusiness companies has found. Managing director Marcus Elgin said an investment in an index of 53 agribusiness companies would have enjoyed compound annual growth of 16.5 per cent over the last four years, compared with compound growth of 2.6 per cent for the All Ordinaries index over the same period. Ranked by more specific sectors, the largest returns were in timber products (with compound growth of 39 per cent); service (19 per cent growth for companies including AWB, ABB, Graincorp, Rural Press, Ruralco); diversified (16 per cent), agri-manufacturing (13 per cent, for companies such as Incitec Pivot, National Foods, SPC Ardmona, Goodman Fielder) and finally in the producer segment (10 per cent, including companies such as Namoi Cotton, Australian Agricultural Company, Chiquita and Southcorp.