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Vietnam's yearly imports of cotton decline for the first time since 2012

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 In 2019, Vietnam exported $32.85 billion of textiles and garments, up 8% year on year. Cotton imports totaled 1.451 million tons, a fall of 7.4% year on year, and fabric imports were $13.27 billion, up 3.9% year on year. For the whole year, the import structure of cotton has changed compared with 2018. Brazilian cotton import proportion climbed up to the second place.

1. Vietnam textiles and garments export value hit a new high in 2019

In Dec 2019, export value of textiles and garments of Vietnam was $2.971 billion, an increase of 7.3% year on year, and 15.1% month on month. In 2019, the export value totaled $32.85 billion, up 8% year on year.

In Dec, 2019, cotton imports of Vietnam were 101.8kt, a fall of 13.9% year on year and 2.2% month on month. In 2019, cotton imports totaled 1.451 million tons, down 7.4% year on year, the first time of decline since 2012.

2. Cotton import change in 2019

In terms of origins, the imports were mainly from US and Brazil in Dec 2019. The US cotton imports took a share of 36.9%, up 6.5% from the same period of 2018, and Brazilian cotton shares rose by 18.9% year on year, while import proportion of Indian and Australian cotton declined by 7.4% and 14% to 6.1% and 2.6% respectively. For the whole year of 2019, the major origins remained the US and Brazil. import volumes of US cotton accounted for 59.8%, up 12% year on year, and Brazilian cotton shares were up by 3.5% to 15.2%. However, the shares of Indian cotton and Australian cotton declined by 7.9% and 7.6% to 6.9% and 3.3% respectively. The lower shares of Indian cotton were mainly restricted by its high prices, and that of Australian cotton were attributed to the sharp output reduction and high prices. Brazilian cotton attracted buying interests due to its higher output and cost performance.

Cotton imports of Vietnam and unit prices in 2019
Origins Volumes (ton) Yearly change Unit price (cent/lb) Yearly change
US 867,865 16% 81.9 -8%
Brazil 220,103 20% 79.5 -10%
India 99,465 -57% 74 -3%
Australia 47,557 -72% 85.9 -9%
Cote d'ivoire 25,587 -27% 81.2 -10%
Argentina 21,864 94% 75.1 -10%
Indonesia 13,080 111% 49.5 -11%
Pakistan 7,934 67% 60 -13%
South Korea 4,764 6% 67.2 18%
China 2,902 142% 82.1 -5%
Other 139,985 -17% 79.6 -9%

Compared with 2018, the US cotton imports totaled 868kt, up 16% year on year, Brazilian cotton 220kt, up 20%, Indian cotton 99kt, down 57% and Australian cotton 48kt, down 72%. In the first half year of 2019, Vietnam mainly imported US cotton, while in the second half year, the Brazilian cotton imports increased significantly.

For the unit price of imported cotton, the prices have stepped downward in general in 2019, while Australian cotton prices were relatively firm.


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