Chilean fruit growers call for 2012 currency intervention

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Chilean fruit growers call for 2012 currency intervention

Chilean Federation of Fruit Producers (Fedefruta) Antonio Walker has called on Central Bank authorities to urgently consider exchange rate intervention to assist growers battling a high U.S. dollar.

Antonio Walker

Walker said recent currency intervention actions from the Central Bank of Brazil illustrated that such measures were possible to prevent further appreciation.

Since the Brazilian intervention last Friday there have been some falls but the real has mostly hovered just above the US$0.58 mark.

Walker said he was assured by Central Bank authorities in January that last year's intervention had been successful.

"Therefore we don't see any reasons to proceed on this line again," he said.

"We knew that we would have difficulties with the availability of water, as well as the availability of labor, however this sudden and sharp decline in the exchange rate is not what we expected."

"We have to repeatedly go out and seek measures for the exchange rate, in the circumstances that Chile is a net exporter, and therefore we should thoroughly study how the high price of copper and other factors can coexist with the rest of the economic sectors."

Frusexta president Ramón Achurra told newspaper El Tipógrafo that exporters were stuck with "with a guillotine over the neck", highlighting that the government must be able to develop a formula so that one industry doesn't kill the other, in the case of mining and agriculture.

"I really don't know what to do. We conducted two demonstrations after the last Central Bank agreement to buy US$50 million a day, with which the dollar rose," he was quoted as saying.

At the time of writing US$1 stood at 474CLP.

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