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Australia's dollar far too strong

CONSUMERS will benefit from the rising Australian dollar, but for Tweed's exporters its course for record breaking parity with United States currency is no cause for celebration.

Yesterday afternoon the Australian dollar was worth 0.9874 US cents, close to its 28-year high of US$0.9918. There are always two sides to any coin, but regional manager Northern Rivers NSW Business Chamber John Murray said the balance of trade was off-kilter with such a strong dollar.

Mr Murray said it was tough times for about 400 registered exporters in the region.

“The export businesses of the Northern Rivers are certainly hurting at the moment, with the strength of the dollar, and that will find its way through to all levels of the economy.

“Electrical goods and the like, they will become cheaper, that is a good thing for the consumers, but in terms of the balance of trade, it is not a good thing for our economy overall, that we have this very, very strong Australian dollar.”

Owner of Murwillumbah's The Right Food Group, Anni Brownjohn, said she had major concerns for the Australian food industry.

She has been exporting her Ozganics food products for 10 years and business is still going steadily, but she has seen many others fall away.

She said for importers into Australia there were few barriers, but there were significant hurdles for exporters.

“We're on a level playing field, but we're the only ones with the ball and everyone else is up in the stands clapping,” she said of trading from Australia.

Ms Brownjohn, a finalist in this year's NSW exporter's awards, said the key to success was to give customers what they wanted at good value for money.

“You need the right product in the right market with the right price.”

She said one positive was Japan's currency is also increasing in value, but “if you are exporting to the US, God help you”.



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