Australia is known for its wide-open spaces, natural environment, and agriculture.
It is a leading supplier of high-quality cotton that is ginned with state-of-the-art equipment and exported to the world market, especially throughout Asia.
It is now reported that India has used its 51,000-tonnes quota of duty-free Australian cotton imports for 2023.
A four-member delegation from Australian Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA) is in India (Coimbatore, Mumbai and Ludhiana) to meet with stakeholders in the cotton and textile industries.
Cliff White, a member of the visiting delegation, told local media that apart from the 51,000-tonnes quota for 2023, there is a small quantity that is imported by India with duty.
“If the Indian cotton crop is small, there is scope for more imports.”
Speaking at an event in Mumbai, John Southwell, Australia’s Trade and Investment Commissioner for food, agriculture and consumer goods in India, highlighted how Australian cotton could contribute further to the Indian economy.
He added that these imports through AIECTA “build on connections sometimes going back decades.”
“Special personal significance for me being from a cotton growing area – where the success or otherwise of the Australian cotton industry (and many others) and ability to access markets overseas heavily influenced my family and our community’s livelihood. Great to be able to give back.”
According to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), cotton export value is forecast to increase by 146% to $5.5 billion in 2022–23.
India has one of the largest textile industries in the world and improved access to this market will provide long-term benefits to Australian cotton producers and shippers.
Nishanth A. Asher, secretary of the Indian Cotton Federation (ICF), added in the Coimbatore seminar that it is the high-quality nature of Australian cotton that may attract more imports to India if the prices are at the right level.
Indian textile associations have also appealed to the government to increase the import quota for duty-free cotton imports from Australia.