Textile Encyclopedia

A Index

The A Index has been published by the trade group Cotlook since the 1960s and is considered to be representative of a “world cotton price.” This price index is based on daily surveys of cotton merchants and describes an average of export prices offered by international cotton merchants for shipment to spinning mills in the Far East, where the majority of the world’s cotton is spun into yarn. Only “medium grade” cotton fiber can be included in the average that is the A Index, and there are currently 16 different cotton varieties from around the world that are eligible. However, with certain restrictions, only the five least expensive eligible varieties are used to derive the A Index. The rationale behind the use of the cheapest values in the average is that the cheaper options could be expected to be more heavily traded. Therefore, an average of the cheaper varieties prices could be more reflective of transactions in the global market. The A index tends to be higher than the New York Nearby for two reasons 1) the quality of the cotton represented by the A Index is slightly higher than the quality represented by New York futures and 2) the A Index prices include shipments to the Far East.