18 Oct 2008

Uruguay farm developer hit by falling milk prices

9:40 pm on 18 October 2008

A drop in milk prices is hammering the earnings of New Zealand Farming Systems Uruguay.

The dairy farm developer says its full year earnings are likely to be less than expected due to record low prices paid for milk in the United States.

The company is converting 36,000 hectares of land in South America to New Zealand-style farms.

It says earnings before tax and excluding performance fees, may be less than analysts' range of $8 million to $10 million.

The company earlier announced it's postponing plans to raise capital to buy more land.

Chairman Keith Smith says milk prices are the lowest they've been in a decade, at US30 cents a litre, and may fall further.

PGG Wrightson chairman Craig Norgate says New Zealand Farming Systems Uruguay is there for the long term benefits.