(Oct. 31) NEW YORK — The Canadian dollar and other foreign currencies are surging against the U.S. greenback, and so, potentially, are profits among U.S. fruit and vegetable producers who export their products.

The euro has gained strength against the dollar steadily in the past several months, and the Canadian dollar and the Japanese yen have made similar strides in recent weeks.

On Oct. 30, the Canadian dollar closed at 76 cents against the U.S. dollar, its highest since January 1994.

The trend is expected to continue. Indeed, some analysts have predicted the Canadian dollar could reach the 80-cent mark within a couple of months. “I think it’s going to keep growing, due to several things,” said Lara Rhame, senior economist with Brown Bros. Harriman in New York. “First of all, we’ve had very Canada-specific reasons why growth would be strong. We’ve seen growth prospects in the U.S. and Canada, but in Canada, probably, improving faster.”

Canada reported a September trade surplus of $5.2 billion Oct. 10, up from $4.8 billion in August.

The U.S., by contrast, reported a September trade deficit of $39.21 billion Oct. 10, an improvement over the record monthly gap of $42.98 billion reached in March.

“I think Canada in the mid-’90s did a good job initiating a lot of structural reform, wiping out their deficits,” Rhame said. “They had very low long-term interest rates, a big housing boom, a lot of things that kept domestic growth going. Also, I think Canada didn’t have the same level of imbalances that the U.S. had. They didn’t have the investment overhang in technology, for example, that the U.S. had.”

In response, investors have dumped U.S. greenbacks in favor of other major currencies, including the Canadian dollar. Bad news for the greenback, however, is good news for exporters of U.S. goods into Canada, including produce.

Bargain buys: A weaker U.S. dollar helps U.S. exporters by making their goods cheaper in comparison to those of foreign competitors, and economists have said the dollar’s fall could help the U.S. economy grow.

“I don’t know if we’ve felt it yet, but it has definitely been a help,” said Dave Carlson, interim president of the Wenatchee-based Washington Apple Commission, whose No. 1 export market is Canada. “It’s the strongest Canadian dollar…for some time. That’s always a factor with sales up there, especially when we want to sell top-grade stuff. So I think it’s definitely going to have a positive influence on what we build up there.”

For the Orlando-based National Watermelon Promotion Board, the stronger Canadian dollar provides a further boost in an already-strong market, said Wendy McManus, the board’s marketing director. “It has done good things for exports of U.S. watermelons into Canada,” McManus said. “We’re just continuing with our ongoing plans, using (U.S. Department of Agriculture) Market Access Program funding to develop consumer public relations and retail promotion opportunities to move more U.S. watermelons during our peak season.”

Melinda Goodman, executive director of Mission-based TexaSweet Citrus Marketing Inc., said she hoped the loonie’s strong showing would provide a marketing lift.

“Canada has consistently been a very good market for us over the last several years, so we would hope that it would be all positive in the sense that it’s an opportunity for both us, particularly in the West,” Goodman said. “We’ve had great reception with the retailers over there and have consistently grown our market share. The East is really just starting to come on and doing a really good job with our product, so I would hope it would be a great opportunity all the way around.”