AUSSIE DOLLAR - AUD/USD Exchange Rate at lowest level since February, more declines forecast
The Australian Dollar (AUD) declined to its lowest level since February by falling below the 0.877 level on Friday as a strengthening US Dollar (USD) and increasing expections of a US interest rate hike weighted heavily.
Further declines for the AUD/USD exchange rate are expected as the currency has fallen steeply over the past three weeks. With a strong run of US economic data releases and comments by the Federal Reserve, the AUD has weekened by six US cents. If the exchange rate continues its losing trend, we can expect the pairing to trade within the range of 77 c to possibly 95c next year.
Also weighing heavily upon the AUD is ongoing weakness in commodity prices and mounting concerns that the Chinese economy is slowing down.
Last updated 28 September, 2014.
$15 million assistance to small exporters soon to be announced
The AHEA has spent the past twelve months writing letters and holding meetings at State and Federal levels to promote a fees and charges review and continue rebates on Export Registration fees. Subsequently, the Department has now finalised the communications package for the Package Assisting Small Exporters which will be shortly released.
Letters and a copy of the rebate application form have been sent to export registered establishments across the meat, seafood, eggs, grain and horticulture sectors.
Further information http://www.daff.gov.au/boisecurity/export/package-assisting-small-exporters .
16 August 2014
RUSSIA - bans Australian Foods
Australian agricultural food products including fresh fruit and vegetables will bear the brunt of a ban on import into Russia from Australia for 12 months in the latest war of words as Australia presses Russia on the current conflict in Ukraine and recent downing on the Malaysia MH17 aircraft. Total agricultural exports to Russia affected by the ban are estimated to be worth $400 million including meat, dairy, wine and fresh F & V. However Industry sources believe for fresh fruit and vegetables alternative markets will be found for as much as $50 million in exports to Indonesia, Malaysia, and China. 12 August 2014
AHEA has restructured its Victorian association, formed in 1986, to become the national representative body (not for profit). AHEA will continue to represent horticultural exports however will also include imports into its market access and trade discussions. The AHEA under its new constitution, promotes the trade of horticultural produce, both ways.
AHEA Executive Director, Michelle Christoe, said ‘industry had been discussing the need for national representation and one that could be representative of both import and export discussions in order to meet the needs of the global market’.
Earlier this year, an extra-ordinary meeting was held with industry to enlist the support of members in the export and import industry and the extended supply chain to vote on the possible alternative structures and it was unanimously agreed to restructure to better represent the needs of industry into the future.
Further consultation into its activities will be discussed in a forthcoming workshop and AGM on 16 September being held at the Holiday Inn, Melbourne, where a decision would be made about priorities of the new organisation.
21 July 2014
AHEA AWARDED GRANT
“As a nation we need to understand Asian market requirements and preferences in order to adapt production and capitalise on the Asian opportunity.”said Michelle Christoe, Executive Director, Australian Horticulture Exporters Association (AHEA).
“The Asian Business Engagement Plan will also assist Australian business to pursue opportunities created by the successful conclusion of bi-lateral trade agreements with both Korea and Japan – two of our biggest trading partners,” Mr Robb, Minister for Trade and Investment said.
Australian Horticultural Exporters Association will receive $159,000 to develop online knowledge-sharing resources between exporters and Asian counterparts and build strategic partnerships in Korea, China and Japan. This project is supported also by in-kind contribution from the DAFF Queensland and State Department, Trade & Investment.
2 July, 2014
A New HAL - What does that mean?
An Independent review of Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and the horticulture levy system was recently conducted by ACIL Allen and found it was plagued by conflicts of interest and limited value for money, suggesting a ‘new HAL’.
David Minnis, Chair of the Australian Horticultural Exporters Association (AHEA), commented in response to the recommendations and report; “I find it absolutely amazing that there was not one mention of export in the whole review. Unless we have export, the horticulture industry is doomed. We overproduce for the domestic market and the growers need to have that extended market in order to survive into the future.”
Recommendations concluded however are consistent with some of the AHEA submission regarding HAL improving its strategic management, reducing costs, simplifying processes and increasing national leadership. As we look to strengthen industry and exports, we need to assess how we can remain competitive, increase market access, innovate and increase productivity so that horticulture remains a viable industry.
“The R&D focus needs to reflect areas of disinfestations, cold chain management, post harvest handling and transport studies. Export needs to be embraced and R&D funds must be put towards this sector in a positive manner. HAL needs to work closer with associate organisations like Australian Horticulture Exporters Association (AHEA) so that they are current on the issues that affect export and in turn, albeit grower returns”, says Minnis.
The full review of HAL is available via HAL’s website.
13 May, 2014