Brazil's farmland prices maintained a heady pace of increase this year, moderately outstripping the US market, with gains particularly strong in the so-called Mapitoba agricultural frontier, data from SLC Agricola show.
The value of the farm operator's 295,000-hectare land portfolio appreciated by 15.7% to R$2.68bn ($1.16bn) over the past year, an appraisal by Deloitte showed.
On a per-hectare basis, excluding land deals, growth was even stronger, at 17.5% to R$9,206 per hectare, in line with the 18.2% rise seen the previous year.
The gain compares with an average rise of 9.4% in US farmland prices in the year to June, according to a US Department of Agriculture report earlier this month, although this disguised variations between a 23% rise in values in the northern Plains to a stagnant South East market.
However, US cropland values, more comparable to the SLC data, gained faster than grassland, by 13.0%, with appreciation of 16.1% in the Corn Belt and 25% in the northern Plains.
Cheap land outperforms
The SLC data also a showed regional differences, with gains particularly strong in the group's farmland in the so-called Mapitoba region – an acronym formed from the first two letters of the north eastern states Maranhão, Piauí, Tocantins and Bahia.
Price appreciation in farms in these state - popular as a relatively cheap entry area for agricultural expansion, although beset by logistical challenges and, in Bahia, drought - reached 27%, on a per hectare basis, not weighted by farm size.
Even so, the average price of land in this area, at some R$8,200 on an unweighted basis, was below the group average.
Prices of many farms in better-known agricultural states showed slower price growth, with the Planalto site in Mato Grosso do Sul appreciating by 0.9% to R$19,023 per hectare.
At the Paiaguas farm in Mato Grosso state, values grew by 2.8% to R$13,052 per hectare.