cotton bolls

Cotton Trade Mission Estimates $457 Million in Sales

Cotton Fairs and Orientation Tours Develop Business for U.S. Cotton 1Participants who attended the 2022 COTTON USA™ Special Trade Mission from Pakistan expect to purchase an additional 757,000 million bales of U.S. cotton over the next year, valued at approximately $457 million.

Textile executives representing 19 companies from Pakistan traveled across the U.S. Cotton Belt in July of 2022 to gain a deeper understanding of why U.S. cotton is the world’s preferred natural fiber and to develop business relationships facilitating the export of U.S. cotton to this important market. Pakistan is currently the third largest cotton consuming country in the world, and consumption is likely to increase given the government’s goal of expanding the country’s textile industry. The Pakistani government recently announced plans to construct three new garment cities, providing support for domestic textile manufacturing, and creating a long-term need for greater fiber consumption. Due to a lack of good quality domestically grown cotton, Pakistani mills are forced to import better quality cotton, and U.S. exports are helping to fill the void. Cotton Council International (CCI) activities in Pakistan aim to differentiate U.S. cotton from its competitors by highlighting the advantages of U.S. cotton, including its high-quality, contamination-free properties.

The information provided during the trip helped convince these important executives of the advantages of U.S. cotton, with 100% agreeing that U.S. cotton quality is better than cotton from other regions.

cotton bollsThe Special Trade Mission, which was funded in part by the Foreign Market Development program, gave the textile executives a first-hand look at U.S. cotton’s first-class production and processing operations and efforts on environmental responsibility and continuous improvement. During the trip, the group visited all four cotton growing regions in the U.S. and met with multiple segments of the U.S. cotton industry. They also toured USDA’s headquarters for cotton classing in Bartlett, TN and USDA’s newest classing office in Lubbock, TX. These visits gave the participants a clearer understanding of how U.S. cotton is classed, the different qualities of U.S. cotton, and U.S. cotton improvement initiatives, including bale packaging, a common obstacle these companies face when purchasing U.S. cotton.

The trip also encouraged business relationships between the Pakistani textile executives and U.S. cotton merchants, many of whom were able to meet in-person for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, 79% of the buyers expect to purchase more U.S. cotton in the future thanks to these new business contacts, which were made possible by Foreign Market Development funds and the assistance of FAS.

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