How has the declining international value of the U.S. dollar affected your business operations?

District Voices

Published January 1, 2008  | January 2008 issue

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Our primary vendor of injection molding machines is from Germany, so obviously we've had a lot of issues with the prices we're paying for new equipment. In the injection molding industry, there really isn't anything built in the U.S. anymore, so it's all being imported from overseas, and Japan and Germany have had the lion's share of the market. Our biggest customer's customer has just announced they're closing their facility in Canada and they're moving that back to Michigan. And I know we were under pressure just a few years ago to put a facility in Canada, because they wanted to take advantage of the favorable exchange rate at that time.
Scott Stephens, Co-president
Ironwood Plastics—Ironwood, Mich.

In our case, we're a net importer of commodity goods that we use in our manufacturing process back here in the United States, and so the weakening U.S. dollar has had a significantly adverse impact on our domestic operations. We've seen cost increases of probably 20 percent on the commodities that we're bringing in from South America. ... There has been a lone bright spot for us. It's not a significant amount on an overall basis, but we do have export sales into Canada and to the EU. ... And so we've seen some fairly robust growth in those export sales during that time period. But on an overall basis, there's no question it's had a significantly adverse impact on us.
John Hermeier, Chief Financial Officer
Link Snacks Inc.—Minong, Wis.

The biggest issue we've seen is some of our suppliers based in Europe are passing on the price increases to us because of the weakness of the dollar to the euro, and they can't maintain the pricing so they have to pass the price on to us, which eventually goes to the consumer. With the wine, a lot of them are wines that are coming out of France or Spain or anyplace over in Europe, and they typically only do it when they have a vintage change. We've got a lot of price increases lately, more than usual. ... They just state in their letters, when they're talking about a price increase, the strength of the dollar to the euro. That's what they blame it on a lot.
Dave Chapman, Director of Operations
Republic National Distributing Co.—Sioux Falls, S.D.

I think the biggest factor for us is that across the border, the dollar being as weak as it is, it has created such a big demand for U.S. commodities by other countries. So it's helping to significantly drive up the domestic price. And I think that's where we're seeing it across the board, is with all the commodities that we're buying. ... I'd say it's more of a negative for us because we do export some stuff, but it's a pretty small part of our business. ... It also gets us for things, like we buy a lot of oats and rye out of Canada because there isn't much of that grown in the United States anymore.
Joel Dick, Vice President,
Chief Operations Officer
Roman Meal Milling—Fargo, N.D.

I think sometimes the value of the dollar can be a double-edged sword for us. We just finished our fiscal year in the end of September, and it did have a positive impact. I wouldn't say it's the only reason, but it did have a positive impact on our international sales. We had the best year ever in our international sales. ... [I]t's hard to gauge, but we're hoping that 2008 will still be a steady year for us. ... [Foreign inputs] are rising slightly. We also had a price increase because of it, but we don't use a lot of foreign materials.
Jim Hasart, Chief Operations Officer
Nexen Group Inc.—Vadnais Heights, Minn.

Big Sky Resort's proximity to Canadian skiers certainly makes provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan very attractive new markets for drive-in destination business with the U.S. dollar getting close to par. ... Interestingly, the falling U.S. dollar has not gone unnoticed by media outlets in Canadian markets ho have now become quite aggressive in seeking advertising dollars to steer Canadians to U.S. ski destinations. ... We do not anticipate a decline in interest while attracting quality international students to live and work in Big Sky.  The supply of qualified seasonal workers still outweighs the demand for Big Sky Resort's labor needs, despite the changing value of the U.S. dollar.
Dax Schieffer, Spokesman
Big Sky Resort—Big Sky, Mont.