Eureka Correspondence

Netcomm Wireless, iron ore production costs and selling the farm.

Netcomm Wireless

Has Simon got any updates on Netcomm Wireless (NTC) given their disastrous share price performance lately?


Editor’s response: Thanks for your letter. Simon Dumaresq has published an update this week – it’s here.

Iron ore production costs

The article Iron ore: More to worry about than price (November 19) by Tim Treadgold provides all-in (total cost) break-even prices for major iron ore producers. Please let me know the all-in break-even cost for Arrium.

Tim Treadgold’s response: Thanks for your letter. Macquarie Bank on October 10 estimated that Arrium's iron ore break-even price is $US85 a tonne.

Selling the farm

The recent China-Australia Free Trade Agreement gives Chinese investors the right to buy farms under $15 million without investment controls.

Our farming sector is facing a crisis. We have low incomes for a broad range of farmers resulting in an exodus from the land of their children who see no future in it.

Our farmers are ageing and it won't be long before more “fall off the perch” leaving a vacuum for whom?

I have no objection to Chinese buyers if they come and work the land but I fear that it will be investors only and so we can only blame free market economists, the high dollar, and to some extent the supermarket duopoly for depressing this sector and then leading to a fire sale to overseas buyers.

Fatigue and despair would characterise the mood of farmers I have met.  They deserve fair prices, and a fair go.

Does anyone have any sense of national interest? Paradoxically there is a shortage of agricultural scientists.  The future must lie in smart, clean and green produce.  And agricultural products are Victoria's main exports.

We should be supporting industry development on the land not importing food from low wage countries and then selling our major asset off.

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