The falling price of the Australian dollar is making local commodities cheaper to buy in the international market.
The falling price of the Australian dollar is making local commodities cheaper to buy in the international market. Ren Lanzon

Drop in dollar a boost for exporting beef and sugar farmers

THE Clarence Valley's agricultural industry is to benefit from the low Australian dollar as international buyers choose the Valley's beef and sugar.

The dollar was buying US77c on Sunday, the lowest in five-and-a-half years.

Farrell McCrohon Stock and Station Agents co-owner David Farrell said the biggest effect the low dollar had on prices was an increase in supply.

"The low dollar makes any commodity we export, whether it's a car or a cow, cheaper to an overseas market," Mr Farrell said.

"It has more has to do with supply and demand. Our cattle are in demand when price is low," he said.

"It's hard to say how it directly affects prices at our saleyards."

Sunshine Sugars chief executive officer Chris Connors said the sugar industry was waiting for long-term benefits of the low dollar.

Mr Connors said the sugar price was relatively the same to the international buyer because the price of sugar per pound had dropped along with the lower dollar.

He said there was increased sugar consumption but decreased production.

"This will leave a 5 million tonne deficit and then sugar prices will rise," he said.

"If the Australian dollar stays at US75c to US80c it will certainly deliver a good outcome."

University of Queensland agritrade expert David Adamson said the low Australian dollar led to more expensive imports, such as machinery and fertilisers.

Dr Adamson said dairy exports were unaffected.

"The dairy industry has a massive oversupply in Europe. New Zealand is facing collapses in dairy prices," he said.

Dr Adamson said one strength of the Australian beef market was its reputation for clean cattle after the mad cow disease scare.

"We have a better reputation internationally than America. We don't always get a price premium, but when everyone fails we get our stuff bought," he said.

He said farmers were also benefiting from low fuel costs.



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