Weakening U.S. dollar sends ripples through seafood imports

As American-sourced products become cheaper in overseas markets, Canadian lobster exporters feel the pinch.

By John Sackton

Suddenly currency swings are back in the news again.

After a period of dollar strength, that contributed to record seafood imports of commodities like shrimp and salmon in 2016, the U.S. dollar has reversed course, and has fallen about 7 percent since January of this year against a composite of foreign currencies.

This kind of change in currency values can have a big impact on profitability for overseas exporters to the U.S.

Take lobster and Canadian snow crab for example. From May 1 until July 31, the Canadian dollar has strengthened from $1.35 to $1.25, a change of nearly 7.5 percent.

Geoff Irvine, executive director of the Lobster Council of Canada said, “A strong dollar is the last thing we want as exporters of Canadian seafood products.

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