Tour Seeks To Elevate Koreans’ Desire For U.S. Cotton

Tour Seeks To Elevate Koreans’ Desire For U.S. Cotton

Key textile executives from nine Korean companies will tour the U.S. Cotton Belt on April 17-22 to observe U.S. cotton production, processing and marketing and to meet with U.S. cotton exporters. Cotton Council International (CCI), the National Cotton Council’s export promotions arm, conducts the COTTON USA Korean Special Trade Mission.

“We hope this tour will provide these Korean executives with a better appreciation for U.S. cotton’s superior quality and our industry’s outstanding reputation for timely delivery so that their desire for using more U.S. cotton will increase,” CCI President Keith Lucas, a Garner, NC, cotton cooperative official, said.

At this point in the 2015-16 marketing year (which ends on July 31, 2016), Korea ranks as the sixth largest U.S. cotton importer with current U.S. export commitments to Korea at 440,000 bales. The country imported 650,000 U.S. bales in the 2014-15 marketing year.

U.S. market share with the nine participating Korean companies is estimated at 53 percent. These mills are expected to consume about 1.06 million bales in 2015-16, representing 80 percent of Korea’s total cotton consumption. Of significance is that many Korean textile mills also have textile investments outside of Korea, primarily in Vietnam, and those spinning mills consume some 330,000 bales, of which about 166,000 bales are from the United States.

The Korean delegation will begin its tour in New York with a CCI briefing and an ICE Futures seminar. They will see cotton research in North Carolina, tour the USDA cotton classing office in Bartlett, TN, and visit a West Texas farm.

The group also will meet with exporters in the Cotton Belt’s four major regions and with these industry organizations: AMCOT, American Cotton Producers, American Cotton Shippers Association, Cotton Incorporated, Lubbock Cotton Exchange, National Cotton Council, Plains Cotton Growers, Inc., Southern Cotton Growers Association, Texas Cotton Association, Western Cotton Shippers Association and Supima.