TMEC CEO welcomes a weakening Australian dollar: The Mercury reports

The Australian dollar dropped to its lowest level in five years on Monday (US80.95 cents) and closed at 81.36 cents yesterday.


"It is all good news but it doesn't mean we can rest on our laurels," Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council chief executive Wayne Bould said yesterday.

"The exchange rate makes Tasmanian industry offerings more competitive in relation to the profit it delivers back to the businesses."

However, Mr Bould warned labour costs and energy prices would be equally influential on the viability of major employers such as Bell Bay Aluminium, Nyrstar, TEMCO and Grange Resources.

He said falling commodity prices were particularly harsh on miners whereas firms that were value adding were doing better because of the dollar.

Tasmania's major exports are non-ferrous metals ($1.01billion), metallic ores ($618 million), dairy ($202 million), meat ($135 million), seafood ($105 million), fruit and vegetables ($56 million) and paper and paperboard ($44million).

Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis said the lower dollar was good and bad news for farmers.

"It makes Tasmanian farmers a little bit more competitive but also it makes a lot of the inputs more expensive and also any equipment that is mostly imported," Ms Davis said.

She said there had been no dramatic windfalls because many commodities were subject to six month contracts.

Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin said a lower dollar had two effects on tourism.

"With Tasmania a hot destination it makes the state more affordable for international visitors and makes it less affordable for Australians to go overseas," he said.

http://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasmania/exporters-rubbing-hands-after-dollars-value-falls-with-primary-industry-miners-tourism-to-benefit/story-fnj4f7k1-1227176469052