(Nov. 5) The U.S. dollar may be plunging against all 16 of the most actively traded foreign currencies, but Yuma vegetable shippers who dabble in export markets say the whims of currency exchange shouldn’t affect the flow of business.

As of Nov. 1, according to www.x-rates.com, the dollar was trading for 0.69 euros, 0.97 Canadian dollars and 115 Japanese yen. The greenback was at 0.48 against the British pound.

But currency exchange rates aren’t the chief concerns, where vegetable exports from Yuma and other U.S. growing regions are concerned, said Joe Colace, co-owner of Five Crowns Marketing, Brawley, Calif., which exports asparagus and melons, primarily to Asian markets.

“It has become very competitive over there, with the domestic deal because you have other growing regions in the world that are competing with certain crops we have,” Colace said. “The export demand is not quite like it was 10 years ago.”

Some markets in the Pacific Rim can fill supply needs in China or other growing regions a little closer to home, Colace said.

But U.S. shippers can take comfort in longstanding advantages related to quality, he added.

“America still has the most strict food safety requirements, with so many exports,” he said. “But still, I’d say importers like buying certain commodities because they feel more secure with our food-safety standards.”

Some shippers have only a few selected export markets for product grown in the Yuma area.

“For us, we export a lot of green onions into England,” said Russ Widerburg, sales manager for Oxnard, Calif.-based Boskovich Farms Inc. “Other than that, we don’t do a lot of direct exporting.”

Salinas, Calif.-based Dole Fresh Vegetables Inc. anticipates a strong export market this year, said Kevin Fiori, the company’s senior vice president of agriculture operations.

“We always do,” he said. “We have a strong export program.”

The fluctuations of currency exchange aren’t much of a factor in the business, Fiori said.

“We haven’t seen any impact from an export standpoint,” he said. “I think the great thing about Asia, and Japan in particular, is they’re willing to pay for high-quality product, and we’ve seen that business improve over the last couple of years.”

Doug Classen, sales manager for the Salinas-based Nunes Co. Inc., voiced a similar assessment of the export markets.

“The majority of what we export goes to the Pacific Rim, and I don’t see any downside to any of the orders we normally get,” he said.