Australia’s cotton crop production has fallen 16 per cent compared to two years ago. The main reason is the drought. This year's cotton crop production in Australia is going to be the lowest in a decade. Just a few cotton producers have been able to access water—primarily groundwater—to grow crops this summer. Growers are resilient and used to managing through volatility, but the relentlessness and severity of this drought is taking its toll. In some cotton producing valleys, no cotton was planted this year. The beginning of the northern wet season was sluggish, with only a few cotton-producing regions receiving heavy rains. The Indian Ocean dipole positive event that has contributed to the ongoing dry spell is so strong it may not break down until mid-summer. While the planting window is still open if there is no significant rainfall in the coming months, cotton growers will face the harsh reality of a further reduced crop this season.
There are more than 1200 cotton farms in Australia. On an average, Australia’s cotton growers produce enough cotton to clothe 500 million people in a year. The major buyers of Australian cotton are: China, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, Bangladesh and Japan.