Cotton futures touched a new record high on Tuesday after the global commodity slumped in March.
Prices for cotton jumped 4.7% to $8.75 per bushel in Sydney, and jumped 3.2% in Melbourne to $10.30.
The futures were up about 20% from a previous record high of $8,000.
Cotton futures are one of the most important commodities in the global cotton market, with the commodity accounting for nearly half of global cotton production.
The slump in the price last year was the result of a glut of imports from China and the United States, and an oversupply of cotton by China.
“We are seeing a slowdown in Chinese demand for cotton due to the current political turmoil in China,” said Anthony West, chief commodity strategist at S&P Global Market Intelligence.
“There are also concerns about the impact on Australian prices.
We believe this is the first time we have seen a significant rise in cotton prices over the past six months.”
Mr West said there was an over-supply in the cotton market in China, and that was a factor in the increase in the prices.
“It’s quite difficult to make a judgement as to whether that’s caused by the political turmoil,” he said.
“The price of Australian cotton is up quite a bit from the previous record and there is a lot of concern around the political situation in China.
The Australian dollar has strengthened to the lowest level in almost a year and a half.”
Cotton is now down more than half a cent against the US dollar since the end of March, and is now trading at about 35.5 US cents, down from its 52-week high of more than 70 US cents.
Mr West believes that could be an important factor in slowing demand in Australia, as the commodity is now being traded in an overvalued market.
“Cotton prices are so overvalued that we would expect that the demand for it will continue to be undervalued,” he explained.
“So that’s going to be a major factor as to why prices are up.”