Prices of Brazilian crop land have soared 18% in the past year, to judge by data from one of the country's biggest agricultural groups, which revealed plans to take sowings nearly to 300,000 hectares, according to Agrimoney.com.
The 220,000 hectares of Brazilian farmland that farm operator SLC Agricola has owned for more than a year was valued by Deloitte at Reais 2.05bn, an 18.2% increase year on year.
Including 75,000 hectares bought by SLC over the year, the group's total portfolio was pegged at 2.32bn. Reais.
The increase reflected gains throughout the portfolio, which stretches from Mato Grosso, the top soybean-producing state, in the west to Bahia in the east, part of the increasingly popular Mapitoba frontier.
The group's Bahia farm of Palmares was the top performer, notching up a 21.7% gain.
The valuations, which exclude buildings, improvements and machinery, would appear to show Brazilian land appreciating faster than US farms, which rose in value by 10.9% over the last year, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
US crop land rose by 14.5%, the data, released on Friday, showed.
Brazilian farmland has been particularly prized by many foreign investors, prompting the government to clampdown on foreign ownership.
However, SLC's portfolio was worth, at an average of Reais 7,875 per hectare, or 1,580 dollars per acre, considerably less than average US farmland, valued at 2,650 dollars per acre, although this figure does including buildings.
US cropland was valued at 3,550 dollars per acre overall, with Iowa the most expensive state, averaging 7,300 dollars per acre.
SLC's most expensive farm was valued at Reais 15,709 per hectare, or 3,151 dollars per acre.
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