China’s appetite for Australian cotton still strong

Thursday, 22nd December 2011 // Breaking News // Comments (0)

First hand market intelligence following a trade delegation to North Asia shows the Chinese remain heavily focused on Australian Cotton.

Recently returned from an Australian Government backed trade mission to Shanghai, Cotton Australia director and St George cotton grower, Hamish McIntyre says many challenges facing Australian growers, like competition for available labour, is exactly the same problem confronting our northern neighbours.

Mr McIntyre says the expansion in Chinese manufacturing is simply mind blowing and the growth in this sector of China’s economy is placing massive demands on their rural workforce.

“Recruiters are scouring China’s cotton growing areas, looking for labour to fill positions in newly opened factories and they are prepared to pay top dollar, leaving many farm managers without the large numbers of workers needed to pick the Chinese cotton crop in the traditional way, by hand.”

He says for many Chinese cotton growers, the only solution will be a rapid program of mechanisation, and they would dearly love to have 200-300 experienced Australia cotton farm managers to help bring that technology online.

“The wage difference between the top price the Chinese can afford to pay and local wages down under means there won’t be too many Aussies cotton farm managers packing their bags any time soon.”

Mr McIntyre says the desire for Australian farm expertise is a direct result of the continued high regard the Chinese have for quality Australian Cotton products.

“The one consistent message I received from the Chinese during my visit is that there are practically endless opportunities for the Australian Cotton Industry within China and their desire for Australian cotton, seed, lint, technology and experience shows no signs of abating.”