Korean Textile Executives Tour U.S. Cotton Belt
Textile executives from nine Korean companies participated in the five-day COTTON USA Special Trade Mission, which toured the U.S. Cotton Belt and met with U.S. cotton exporters. This COTTON USA tour emphasized U.S. cotton’s advantages and encouraged business relationships, with the intention of increasing exports of U.S. cotton in the future.
“The Special Trade Mission gave us a great opportunity to be assured of the excellent quality of U.S. cotton,” Do Hyung Lee of Taihan Textile said. “After this tour our company will continue to source primarily from the U.S.”
The Korean delegation began its tour in New York City with a seminar at ICE Futures. Next, the textile executives traveled to the Cotton Belt’s four major growing regions and met with members of industry organizations including: Cotton Incorporated, the National Cotton Council, USDA, Supima, as well as merchants, coops and producers in each region.
Korea currently ranks as the sixth largest U.S. cotton importer. The nine Korean companies who participated represented 80% of Korea’s total cotton consumption and U.S. market share with these companies is currently estimated at 53 percent. It is also important to note that many Korean textile mills also have textile investments outside of Korea, primarily in Vietnam. Those spinning mills in Vietnam are estimated to consume 166,000 additional bales of U.S. cotton this year.