African ginners export cotton to Thai, Bangladeshi spinners

14 June 2013
ITC News

ITC facilitates new Africa-Asia business partnerships by ensuring ginners produce cotton that meets buyers’ standards of quality

Cotton ginners in Africa are discussing new export opportunities with spinners in Asia after visits to processing factories in Thailand and Bangladesh last month. The ITC-organized trip, aimed at facilitating long-term partnerships between the ginners and spinners, resulted in pilot orders, discussions for future purchases and plans for trainings on long-term quality improvement.

Ginners with operations in Malawi, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as representatives of cotton boards from the different countries, visited factories in Bangkok, Thailand, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, from 22 to 30 May, to meet with potential buyers and learn about market requirements.

Visiting factories in Thailand

In Thailand, the ginners visited two processing factories to learn about the spinners’ quality standards and to understand African cotton’s level of competitiveness in global markets. As a result of the visit, one ginner sold 100 tons of Malawian cotton, and other ginners negotiated pilot orders of an additional 300 to 400 tons of Zambian and Tanzania cotton. The transactions for Zambian and Tanzanian cotton are expected to take place at a later time, after seed-cotton prices in the two countries are announced.

The ginners also learned about the problem of cotton contamination. Lucky Spinning, a Thai yarn-manufacturing plant, agreed to send a spinning technician to provide contamination-reduction training at two ginneries in Tanzania from 8 to 25 July.

Meeting spinners in Bangladesh

The African ginners also visited three spinning factories in Dhaka and met with the Bangladesh Cotton Association and the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, as well as cotton agents, spinners and traders interested in doing more direct business with the ginners.

One of the ginners signed a contract with a spinner for a trial order of 100 tons of Malawian cotton, to be shipped in July. One of the largest spinning mills in Bangladesh placed a trial order of 200 tons of Tanzanian cotton for August. The company also reached out to Zimbabwean and Zambian ginners for samples.

Two Bangladeshi spinners agreed to provide training on quality improvement in Tanzania in August 2013.

For both trainings, ITC will create a training film on contamination reduction to ease the training process.

Looking ahead

Spinners in Thailand and Bangladesh are planning to have ginning technicians visit their facilities for a week-long training in the fall after the arrival of bales from the ginneries.

By facilitating this type of cooperation between African cotton exporters and spinners seeking high-quality cotton, ITC works to build transparency within the production chain and build long-term partnerships so as to link African manufacturers to global value chains. The trip was planned as part of the African Cotton Promotion component of the European Development Fund 10 cotton project.