Cliff White: Australia Must Move Cotton Internationally


The topic of the Australian cotton industry is one riddled with uncertainty and struggle. Cliff White, vice president of Omincotton, explains that Australian producers face uncertainty daily as the country is one of the driest environments on earth, yet has the ability to switch from drought to flood in the blink of an eye. A speaker at the upcoming Cotton International Global Summit, White plans to discuss why it is important for the world to understand what Australian cotton means to the industry as a whole.

Q: What issues is Australia facing in the coming year?

White: Being the major exporter of premium high grades, it is important for the industry to understand what is happening and what the potential is for the next few crops. Like most export cotton producing countries, Australia has a huge reliance on the Chinese market, and the 2013 crop is likely to produce a marketing challenge for the industry in Australia as one of its largest crops in history will need to find a destination. Australians must export because growers here receive no government support and have no domestic market, so we have to move the cotton internationally.

Q: How is the rest of the world faring?

White: Producers, merchants, and spinners have all had a very difficult time over the last 18 months and the trading conditions have certainly been the most difficult that any of us have seen. These conditions have severely damaged market participants’ confidence not only from a price movement point of view but just as importantly from a counter-party perspective.

Furthermore, the well documented and highlighted issues with contract sanctity have struck the industry and until we can restore confidence in the marketplace trading conditions will continue to prove difficult.

Q: What do you recommend to get things back on track?

White: The only way we can regain stability is for all parties to come together and discuss the issues and work through them. Confidence is key and that will only ever be achieved if we can all come together and work through the difficulties.

For more information on the Cotton International Global Summit’s speakers and agenda, click here.

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