Cotton makes an enormous contribution to the Australian economy, and over 150 rural and regional communities where our farming families live and work. It's a global commodity that's highly sougth after by spinning mill customers, brands and retailers. This article explains how cotton is bought and sold in Australia.
- Over a five year average between 2014 and 2019, the Australian cotton crop was worth an average of around AUD $2 billion annually
- Australian cotton is sold into a highly globalised market, competing against around 100 other cotton producing nations for its share of global cotton trade
- Australian cotton is exported through ports in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne
- The price that a grower receives for each bale of cotton produced is set by the world market which is dependent on a number of factors including the state of the world economy, agricultural politics, fashion trends, synthetic fibre price, weather, natural disasters and cotton’s own supply and demand
- Cotton prices have ranged from AUD $300 to $600/bale. The all-time high was $758/bale in 1995 while the all-time low was $233/bale in 1986. The average price between 2009-2014 was $396/bale. Between 2011 and 2014, prices hovered around $440/bale (source: Australian Grown Cotton Sustainability Report 2014)
- Cotton lint makes up about 42% of the picked cotton by weight, and contributes about 85% of the total income from a cotton crop. The other 15% of income is from cottonseed