Chilean fresh fruit suppliers may start to re-think their export options this season as the low-valued dollar continues to cause headaches for the South American nation’s growers and exporters.

The value of the US dollar hit a low of 490 Chilean pesos on 18 November – down 150 pesos on last year – leading to increased costs and complicating fruit planning and investment.

“When the dollar falls as low as it is now, it means Chilean fruit exporters will begin to rethink their export options, giving priority to markets that are not so dominated by the US dollar,” said Isabel Quiroz, a fresh fruit consultant based in Santiago.

“Asia will immediately get a closer look because fruit sales there are done in local currencies. And so will the European markets.'

Chilean fruit suppliers are also working hard to lobby government agencies to take actions to lessen the dollar’s downward tumble.

They want Chile’s Central Bank to increase its dollar reserves (thus removing them from an already flooded local market), and government to increase its foreign spending to help unload the dollars accumulating in the Central Bank.