AU Dollar below 80 US cents – what this means for local design.

Aussie Dollar below 80 cents

With the AU dollar below 80 US cents, its lowest mark since July 2009, and having been at 95c in July 2015, we begin to see a shift in the product development and manufacturing programs within Australia.

Already, we are seeing an impact on unit pricing, tooling cost and overall increase in overseas production costs, given the most production/factory contracts are generally setup to trade in USD. Projects that were budgeted for manufacture a year ago are now 15-20% higher in cost than forecast. This could however be a boost for local manufacturing where quite often we find local manufacturers/tool makers are not far off pricing achievable through overseas production, such as China.

Compared to this time last year, the cost of importing product has risen nearly 17%. And, compared to the all-time high of AUD1.10 in July of 2011 the cost of importing is now 28% greater. On projects with tooling budgets upwards of $100,000, that could result in quite a budget blowout! If Local manufacturers are able to take advantage of the low dollar, and keep their costs down, the near future could be a great time for Australian manufacturer’s, producing locally for both domestic and export markets.

At the other end of the scale, now is a great time for overseas manufacturers to leverage Australian based design service providers. If you’re considering a new project, it’s a great time to get in touch.

Anyway, back to design – we promise not to comment on economics again.

Lucas Lastman

An industrial designer with 15 years’ experience, working across a broad range of industries, from automotive, to consumer product, retail and packaging, to power tool and hardware. Lucas enjoys working directly with clients to facilitate the solution process and tackle challenges early on in the process.