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Australia's cotton falls prey to diplomatic row with China

Growers eye shift to Vietnam and Bangladesh as biggest buyer shuns Canberra

A cotton farm in Narrabri, Australia: China purchased 63% of Australia's cotton exports in the year through June.   © Reuters

SYDNEY -- China has urged its mills to stop using Australian cotton, Australian industry groups said Friday, a move viewed as retaliation in an escalating diplomatic row between the two countries.

"It has become clear to our industry that the National Development Reform Commission in China has recently been discouraging their country's spinning mills from using Australian cotton," Cotton Australia and the Australian Cotton Shippers Association said in a joint statement.

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