• In spite of geopolitical unrest, China’s imports of textiles, primarily cotton, from Australia fell by 41% during the previous four years.
  • Conversely, Australian garment imports from China have steadily increased, with a 44% increase from 2018 to 2022.
  • During the post-pandemic period, Chinese garment exports to Australia had a significant recovery. 

Geopolitical unrest has affected China’s purchases of fiber (mostly cotton) from Australia, but despite diplomatic problems, Chinese exports of clothing to Australia have remained robust in recent years. Analysis of trade statistics shows that Australia’s imports of fiber have decreased by 41% over the past four years, whilst China’s exports of garments have surged by 44% since 2018.  

According to market research tool TexPro, China imported $3.177 billion worth of fiber from Australia in 2018, however this amount decreased by 41% to $1.860 billion in 2022. Imports dropped significantly during the epidemic, from $2.592 billion in 2019 to $1.441 billion in 2020. With imports estimated at $1.971 billion in 2021, there was a minor improvement; but, in 2022, imports fell back to $1.860 billion. The value of China’s fiber imports for the first quarter of 2023 was $374.693 million.

China imported 591.499 kg of fiber in 2018, however that number dropped to 539.079 million in 2019. The import fell by half to just 250.601 million kg in the Covid year 2020. In 2021 and 2022, it further decreased to 216.051 million kg and 199.652 million kg, respectively. 50.583 million kg were imported between January and March 2023.