Falling US Dollar Affects Prices Of International Hunts


Published: January - 2008

If you earn your living in US dollars, be prepared to see a marked increase in the price of some international hunts when you go to the various hunting conventions this winter. Why? Because the US dollar has dropped like a stone relative to most currencies around the world. Over the last five years, to cite just some examples, the dollar has dropped more than 37 percent against the Canadian dollar, more than 53 percent against the New Zealand dollar and more than 65 percent against the Australian dollar. The change has been particularly noticeable in the past year in some parts of the world. For example, in November 2006, the US dollar was valued at 1.14 against the Canadian dollar, but by November of this year, the US dollar was down to .977 in Canadian dollars.

Coupled with a spike in fuel costs, the drop in the dollar is really squeezing some operators whose businesses revolve around US clients. The problem is particularly severe in Canada, according to Senior Western Correspondent Lance Stapleton. Many of the better outfitters there usually operate on a margin of about 30 percent, he says. Those margins are now in the single digits, strictly because of the exchange rate. Outfitter Dave Fyfe, president of the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, tells us his 2003 price for a Roosevelt elk hunt was $16,000 US, which translated into approximately $24,000 Canadian. This past year, he priced the same 10-day hunt at $21,500 US, but when he went to the bank he received only $19,600 Canadian. That adds up to a huge net-negative impact on his gross income strictly because of the currency shift. You can probably imagine what this kind of currency shift is doing to outfitters trying to honor price quotes from several years ago!

The squeeze on Canadian operators is worsened, Stapleton tell us, by the increased competition for labor posed by cash-rich oil, gas and mining companies. The upshot is, a number of smaller Canadian outfitters are simply going out of business, or converting to part-time businesses. For sure, some of........(continued)

 
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