According to the preliminary statistics of the General Department of Customs, cotton imports to Vietnam in December reached 121,171 tons with a value of over 241 million USD, an increase of 1.1% in quantity and 1.7% in value compared to the previous month. Accumulated for the whole year of 2023, our country imported over 1.3 million tons of cotton, equivalent to over 2.8 billion USD, a decrease of 6.8% in quantity and a sharp decrease of 29.7% in value compared to 2022.
The sharp decrease in import value is due to the decrease in cotton prices imported to Vietnam reaching a low level in 2023, reaching 2,117 USD per ton, while in 2022, the average cotton price imported to Vietnam was 2,807 USD per ton.
Regarding the import market, Australia has surpassed the US as the largest supplier of cotton to Vietnam in 2023. As of the end of December, our country imported 467,718 tons of cotton from Australia with a value of over 1.01 billion USD, an increase of 10.6% in quantity but a decrease of 15.8% compared to the same period last year.
It is worth mentioning that cotton imported from Australia had extremely cheap prices in the past year with an average of 2,173 USD per ton, a decrease of 28% compared to the previous year.
The US is the 2nd largest supplier of Vietnam with 416,505 tons of cotton, valued at over 912 million USD. India is the 3rd largest cotton supplier with 61,126 tons, valued at over 91 million USD.
Vietnam is the world’s 3rd largest cotton importer with a consumption capacity of 1.5 million tons per year. As of 2021, the amount of cotton imported by Vietnam from the US accounted for 25% of the total export volume of the US and is the largest cotton importer from the US in the world. Cotton is a raw material for Vietnam’s textile and garment industry.
According to the International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), the average global cotton fiber price in 2023 is estimated at 68.6 cents/lb, a decrease of 9% compared to the previous year. This is the third consecutive decrease since 2021. The main reason is the sharp decrease in consumption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while production output is still higher than demand, leading to an excess supply. Global cotton fiber consumption is estimated to decrease by 11% compared to the previous year, to 22.9 million tons in 2023. Additionally, cotton fiber prices are also affected by the prices of alternative materials such as polyester and viscose, trade policies of countries, etc.
Entering 2024, cotton prices are forecasted to increase as demand gradually recovers. According to the US National Reform and Development Commission, the country will impose import quotas of up to 750,000 tons of cotton for state-owned companies. This will further stimulate the demand for cotton in the future.
With the upward trend in global cotton prices, it is predicted that the import prices of raw cotton into Vietnam will also increase. Along with that, the global textile and garment market is showing signs of recovery, and it is forecasted that the import of raw cotton into Vietnam will also increase in the future. Global cotton fiber consumption in 2024 is expected to increase by 7% compared to the previous year, reaching 24.5 million tons.