There are positive indicators for the 2023-24 Australian cotton crop, with demand for Australian cotton rising, while output of other major cotton-producing countries is expected to drop due to seasonal conditions. “Australian cotton exporters are reporting a higher level of engagement with buyers from several countries while at the same time, orders from emerging markets are going up,” a Cotton Australia press release said.
In 2023, Australian cotton was shipped to 16 countries in 20 countries, with Vietnam emerging as the biggest cotton importer with a share of 37 percent. Cotton exports to Vietnam have risen under the federal government’s Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) program. The ATMAC program has also ensured that the share of cotton exports to Indonesia and Malaysia rose to 20 percent, while Turkey, Bangladesh, and Thailand import nearly 15 percent of all Australian cotton exports.
“Our farmers have virtually sold out the 2023 crop and indications are we have already forward sold about a third of our 2024 crop,” Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay said. Adam Kay added that they were also in talks with India to double the Free Trade Agreement’s 50,000 tons of tariff-free cotton. However Head of Cotton for ADM Trading Arthur Spellson stated that exports to China are still cautious as there has been no formal change in the trade relationship between countries. “We know Australian cotton is being shipped into China, but we don’t know how much is being cleared by customs for Chinese mills,” Spellson stated.