Firms scrambling to hedge falling AUD

Firms scrambling to hedge falling AUD

Australian companies are coping with the falling dollar by focusing on hedging and import substitution as opposed to greater cost cutting, according to a NAB survey.


NAB's Quarterly Business Survey asked Australian businesses how they are managing the falling Australian currency, which has gone from near parity with the US dollar in early 2013 to 71 US cents today.

Thirty-four per cent of businesses surveyed said they have been negatively affected by the deteriorating currency, with the wholesale sector worse hit (followed by manufacturing).

"Much of the deterioration seems to stem from industries including wholesale, retail and transport, all of which have firms that could potentially have a high degree of import reliance – or have become more reliant on imports as a result of the elevated AUD in recent years," said NAB.

"Mining and personal services appear to have experienced the greatest benefit (fall in the index) from AUD depreciation since mid-2014."

When it comes to the methods being used to respond to the negative effects, firms are becoming more focused on hedging and import substitution, said NAB.

Hedging is "by far", the most popular strategy, sitting at 12 per cent for the most recent quarter, while reducing overheads (ie. downsizing) and importing more business inputs were further down the list.

"Retail has the highest share of firms uncertain about what strategies to employ to manage currency risk, although firms in most industries appear to be more uncertain compared to last quarter," said NAB.

"Hedging was important for wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers, but while this is the most common strategy for most industries, mining and construction were exceptions.

"Downsizing was the most common strategy used by construction firms, while miners chose to focus on reducing overheads and ‘other’ strategies," said NAB.

 

Firms scrambling to hedge falling AUD
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