24 Jan 2012

Exchange rate hitting apple growers

12:58 pm on 24 January 2012

Pipfruit growers struggling from several seasons of marginal returns will be under even more financial pressure this season. The culprit is the exchange rate.

The strength of the New Zealand dollar against European currencies and the US dollar lowers the returns for apples and other products traded in those currencies.

Pipfruit New Zealand says the New Zealand dollar is now at a record high against the euro. At current levels, the exchange rate makes it impossible to get an economic return to growers here.

Chairman Ian Palmer says Nelson growers are the hardest hit because more of their apples are sold in Europe which is in an economic melt-down.

He says growers will be hoping the exchange rate improves, but there's no indication that the euro and US dollar will lift in the current economic conditions.