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PRC unofficially boycotts Australian cotton, imports halt

Oct '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
All cotton exports by Australia to China have reportedly stopped following Beijing's ‘unofficial’ rebuff to the former’s cotton producers recently. Australia’s cotton industry is now preparing for a leaner situation ahead after officials confirmed Chinese mills had been ordered to halt Australian lint purchases due to ‘apparent changes to export conditions’.

Lint values in Australia, however, have strengthened, according to domestic media reports.

As over three-fifths of Australian cotton crop is normally exported to China every year on an average, efforts are under way now to boost export ties with other Asian countries, where demand has risen steadily in recent years.

China, the world's largest importer of cotton, buys increasing volumes of US cotton as part of its Phase I trade commitment on agricultural imports with the United States.

Until recently, Chinese textile activity and demand for Australia's high grade lint was gaining momentum after the coronavirus lockdowns as China returned to near-normal economic conditions.

Beijing has reportedly told spinning mills they must pay a 40 per cent tariff if they keep buying Australian cotton though Cotton Australia chief executive officer Adam Kay said there had been no comment from the Chinese government about Australian cotton being excluded from its 890,000 tonne a year tariff-free import quota.

Cotton exporters would have to work much harder to market the national crop, Kay noted.

Beijing’s move coincided with Chinese steel makers also being advised to ‘defer’ orders of Australian thermal and metallurgical coal.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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