Australia wants India to turn into a major cotton buyer. India happens to be a big market for cotton. India is the largest producer and consumer of cotton globally. One advantage is that Australia has nearly 1,200 cotton growers and can supply even small quantities of cotton to India. Also Australian cotton finds favor with Indian spinners. Indian textile mills use Australian cotton as a blend to produce high value garments.
Where India used to purchase some five to seven per cent of cotton produced in Australia every year, in 2016 this shot up to nearly 23 per cent. Australian cotton is known for its quality and strength. And the country has what Indian spinners really need, long staple cotton. At present, Australian cotton and Indian cotton prices are almost at par.
There are more than 1,200 cotton farms in Australia. Australian irrigated lint yields are the highest of any major cotton producing country in the world, being about three times the world average. Most of this yield gain is attributed to seed technology.
Cotton represents 30 to 60 per cent of the gross value of total agricultural production in Australia, on an average year, Australia’s cotton growers produce enough cotton to clothe 500 million people.