By Jonathan Underhill
July 28 (BusinessDesk) – NZX, the stock market operator, said advertising in its portfolio of agricultural publications dropped 17 percent in the first half, reflecting the slump in dairy prices and the impact of drought.
The company’s agricultural titles include New Zealand Farmers Weekly, the nation’s biggest newspaper for farmers, Country-Wide and New Zealand Dairy Exporter. Agricultural information accounted for about 16 percent of NZX’s $16.4 million of revenue in the first quarter, the company has said previously. The advertising page equivalents booked during that quarter was down 20.4 percent on a year earlier.
“Declines in the dairy price and drought conditions early in the period have negatively impacted advertising spend in the agri sector, with total paid advertising page equivalents in NZX’s agri publications down 17.4 percent on the prior comparable period,” it said today.
Weakness in dairy prices may have lifted demand for NZX-traded dairy derivatives. The company said today that lots traded soared 143 percent in the first half, including a record 18,255 lots in May. Whole milk powder slumped 13 percent in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction,
NZX said total trades on the Clear Grain Exchange, its Australian grain trading business, fell about 24 percent in the first half, following a smaller harvest across the Tasman and more grain being sold in the fourth quarter of 2014. There was a “small lift” in tonnes traded in the latest six-month period, it said.
NZX shares last traded at $1.07 and have declined 17 percent in the past 12 months.