Gina Rinehart's Next Big Thing: Selling Dairy To China

Gina Rinehart. Getty/ Paul Kane

Billionaire Gina Rinehart is reportedly planning to sell another commodity to China, this time dairy goods, a booming market meeting the demand from a rising middle class keen on European foods.

Fairfax Media reports the iron ore magnate is is planning a $500 million investment to supply infant formula to China.

Hope Dairies, controlled by Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting, is seeking to acquire about 5,000 hectares of farmland in Queensland, according to co-investor and director Dave Garcia.

Other mining magnates are looking at diversifying into food sales to China.

Twiggy Forrest, the founder of iron ore producer Fortescue Metals, recently bought Harvey Beef in Western Australia and is reportedly interested in the state’s largest milk producer, Lactanz Dairies, near Scott River in the South West, and the Brownes dairy processing plant in Perth’s Balcatta.

China is the world’s fastest growing market for dairy products and the largest single dairy importing market. Milk powders constitute 70% of the market by volume and 82% by value.

In 2013, China imported more than 2.1 million tonnes of dairy worth $8.8 billion.

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