Cotton Council International (CCI) hosted a COTTON USA Executive Delegation and Cotton Day Turkey on October 23-29, 2021. Turkey was chosen as the location of this year’s Executive Delegation due to its importance in the global cotton and textile industry. In MY 20/21 Turkey was the 4th largest importer of cotton and expects to increase their cotton imports in the future. This represents an opportunity for U.S. cotton exports, especially after the Turkish government lifted an anti-dumping duty on U.S. cotton in April of 2021, making it easier for textile mills in the country to purchase the high-quality U.S. cotton they prefer.
Five leaders from the U.S. cotton industry attended the weeklong trip. As part of the trip, meetings between these U.S. cotton industry leaders and their counterparts in the Turkish textile industry were arranged. These meetings allowed the U.S. industry to build business relationships while discussing the benefits of U.S. cotton. It also gave them an opportunity to hear directly from their customers the obstacles they face when using U.S. cotton in their products and to learn about the market trends in Turkey that may impact U.S. cotton exports to the country in the future. On the final day of the trip, October 28, the group celebrated Cotton Day Turkey, the first in-person event hosted in the country since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Textile mill representatives as well as agents of U.S. exporters were invited to join the group and learn more about the U.S. cotton industry and CCI.
According to a survey conducted after the Cotton Day event, 84% of the participants were very satisfied with the event overall and 80% are very likely to recommend future Cotton Day events to their colleagues. The group was particularly interested in CCI’s technical consultancy, COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™ with over half of the textile mill participants indicating they were interested in learning more about the service. COTTON USA SOLUTIONS™ mill experts work with textile mills one-one-one to demonstrate how using U.S. cotton in spinning operations can increase both productivity and profitability. Because the program is complimentary to COTTON USA Licensees, which requires a licensee to use greater than 50% U.S. cotton in their products, companies are enticed to increase their usage of U.S. cotton to gain access to the service.
As a result of attending, 93% of the textile mill participants expect to purchase additional U.S. cotton or cotton products in the next year. Despite the high price, U.S. cotton sales to Turkey increased by nearly 500,000 bales or approximately $245 million worth of U.S. cotton between October and December of 2021. Overall, participants expect to purchase a total of 700,000 bales or approximately $370 million worth of U.S. cotton in the next year as a result of attending these activities.