Agri Business

Australian cotton delegation upbeat about export prospects of the fibre to India

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on January 13, 2018 Published on March 04, 2017

Delegates at the Australian cotton seminar organised by Australian Trade and Investment Commission and Australian Cotton Shippers Association in Coimbatore



After meeting up with the textile manufacturers in Ludhiana and Mumbai, the eight member cotton delegation from Australia came over to Coimbatore in the last leg of their five-day tour.

They left for their home country on Friday after meeting up with the trade community and select mill owners here the previous evening.

During the two-hour presentation, the delegation comprising of cotton shippers, a cotton grower and a research scientist shared the Australian cotton story with special emphasis on zero contamination, quality characteristics of the fibre and their complete package offering.

Later, speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Matthew Bradd, Chairman of the Australian Cotton Shippers Association told Business Line that they were here to bolster opportunities for exporting high quality Australian cotton to India.

“India has consistently purchased Australian cotton year-on-year, but the last year's monsoon condition and the resultant smaller Indian crop led to an increased demand by the mills here to maintain production.

“In fact, India topped in consumption of Australian cotton at 22 per cent last year,” he said before adding that this was his maiden visit to India.

While conceding that the fibre quality, consistency and strength is superior in many aspects, a member of the Indian cotton trade said that the price is exorbitant and appealed for considering a reduction in the offer price.

Brushing off the comment, Bradd continued about the crop size. “The crop last year peaked to 4.2 million bales from 3.7 million bales during the earlier season. Incidentally, we don't have a domestic market for cotton. The entire volume is exported to global markets. Nearly 80 per cent is exported to countries such as India, China, Indonesia and Bangladesh and the remaining 20 per cent is taken up by Pakistan, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Turkey.

He admitted that Australia had, until three years ago depended on China for exporting the white fibre. “When China changed its import policy, we were left with a huge inventory. Now, we have strategically decided not to focus on one country for export. When Governments change, policies change as well. So we have to be careful,” he said in response to a query.

Varieties:

The cotton industry in Australia invests huge sums in breeding better varieties. Added to this, researchers have developed procedures and tools to assess spinning ability and fibre attributes with a focus on improved spinning and dyeing ability.

“Picking is 100 per cent mechanical, resulting in zero contamination,” he reiterated.

Picking starts in February, offering is made in April and shipped by July – August.

“It has been ideal for Indian spinning mills to source the Australian fibre as at the fag-end of the cotton season here, mills start looking to import quality fibre. And they have understood the relative value of our offering,” Bradd said.

Published on March 04, 2017
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