Blueberry: the weak dollar salutary

1157480The weak Canadian dollar is beneficial for blueberry growers. The significant price decline berry in the United States has not had an impact in Quebec.

This is what emerges from the “Dashboard on the wild blueberry market” conducted by the Forest Lavoie Group on behalf of Blueberry Producers’ Union.

To illustrate the advantage of the decline in the currency, experts have made comparisons over time. When the Canadian dollar was worth 93 US cents in 2013, the price differential was 15 cents. The price to book was trading in December 2013, to about US $ 1.80 and $ 2.10 Canadian.

Today, with a loon having a value of 74 cents on the US dollar, the price difference is 43 cents. In December, the price paid for the book Blue Pearl played around $ 1.20 in US dollars and about $ 1.70 in Canadian funds.

Thus, export prices were maintained. If the Canadian dollar had been higher, exporters would have obtained a lower price since August.

This is good news for producers and processors, because even if blueberries inventories are still very high, prices are maintained.

Trap?

Jean-Pierre Senneville, Quebec Wild Blueberries, confirms that the weak dollar is an advantage now. By cons, it indicates that this gap can be a trap. “We need to make informed decisions and not be seduced to try to sell our product at a discount to take advantage of the weakness of our currency. It is not known what the Maritimes or BC may decide to do in such a market. Experience and intuition are needed to keep our market share while not succumbing to sell at a lower price, “he analyzes.

The challenge is all the more important that the offer is on the increase with the explosion of production worldwide.

Precisely, the experts do not know if this situation will last long.

As the currency is very volatile, it is difficult to determine what the final price to be paid to producers for season 2015. They do not know if the usual difference between the annual export price and the final price will be given to producers maintained.

The weak Canadian dollar favors the blueberry industry.

A clearer convention is desired

The Union of Quebec blueberry producers want to sign a clearer marketing agreement with processors.

“Negotiations are well underway. We would have liked it to go faster, but it’s going well. We want an agreement that will make the business of the producers but also processors. It takes a clear agreement to avoid confrontation, “said President Marc Larouche.

The current agreement expired and a new one will be in force by the beginning of the harvest 2016. Both parties give until May 1 to agree if the board of agricultural markets and food of Quebec will decide.

The President considers that the last agreement was to interpretation. Besides, a hearing on the pricing of blueberries took place in 2011. “We need the rules of the game are clear in particular on the price of blueberries. It is necessary that the agreement be reassuring for producers. It must translate mutual trust between the two parties and that producers and processors see themselves as partners, “he insists.

With a new, more effective agreement, Marc Larouche believes that producers will be able to improve the yield of blueberry and reduce production costs. “We have a lower yield of 50% with New Brunswick and Maine, is three times better than here. We have a big challenge at that level, “he says.

It gives way

After six years at the helm of the organization, the president will leave at the end of his term in April. He would like to leave as a legacy a new agreement with some 400 members. “After six years, I think it’s time to give in my place. The Union counts on a board that has done excellent work and will continue in the coming years, “he said.

Marc Larouche believes that under his reign, relations between producers and processors have improved.

Marc Larouche wants the Union of Quebec blueberry producers a clearer sign marketing agreement with processors.

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