Industry And Cluster | News & Insights

Cotton exports from Australia to China are declining

Published: June 28, 2021
Author: Manali bhanushali

Increased local production and diverse imports fill the void.
The amount of Australian cotton that went through Chinese customs clearance remained low, while price quotation and purchase remained sluggish for the commodity, as Chinese firms became wary of importing Australian cotton due to the two nations’ strained ties.

As demand for domestically grown cotton grows, Australian cotton is losing its once-favored market standing in China. In 2019 and 2020, the amount of Australian cotton cleared customs at key Chinese ports was low. According to port dealers, some traders only had one to three containers of cotton to sell. Customs clearance concerns have been raised for cotton imported from Australia, in the recent months.

Cotton imports from China have continued to fall in Australia this year. China bought 12,706 tonnes of cotton from Australia in the first four months of this year, a 68.4 percent decrease year on year. China’s cotton imports from Australia fell as ties between the two countries deteriorated. According to Chinese analysts, Australia is “eating its own medicine” for losing market share in China.

Experts believe that Australia’s edge over local cotton has eroded. Domestic cotton grown in Xinjiang supplied almost 90% of China’s cotton demand. Australian cotton plantations are only about five million mu (333,000 hectares), which is even less than Aksu Prefecture’s cotton producing area. According to experts, there are several options to replace cotton supplied from Australia, such as Brazil or the Black Sea nations.

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