FIJI WATER EXPORTS DROP 50 PERCENT

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Reserve bank blames global recession

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, August 20, 2009) – Fiji’s mineral water exports declined by more than 50 per cent mainly due to the global recession, says the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

The bank said this was backed by figures cumulative to May this year showing a 55 per cent decline in mineral water export earnings.

Industry spokesman Jay Dayal said the decline was due to decrease in consumer spending on luxury consumables. Mr. Dayal said our bottled water was expensive because of high production costs. We could only sell in the imported category where competition has been very tough," he said.

RBF governor Sada Reddy said the global recession had a major impact on demand. However, Mr. Reddy said mineral water exports were expected to recover next year with the expected recovery in demand in major export markets.

Fiji Water external affairs director David Roth had earlier said they were making "very hard choices to weather the global economic slowdown".

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