Leaders from the National Cotton Council visited cotton industry officials in China to share information about cotton and gain a better understanding of the textile situation in what was the world’s largest cotton-producing nation.
Coordinated by the NCC’s export promotions arm, Cotton Council International, the June 27–July 1 visit was the seventh by a U.S. cotton industry delegation since the establishment of the U.S.-China Cotton Leadership Exchange Program in 2006.
This ongoing exchange was initiated by a Memorandum of Understanding signed that year promising cooperation between the National Cotton Council of America and the China Cotton Association (CCA). The People’s Republic of China had been the world’s largest cotton-producing nation until it was supplanted by India.
In Beijing, delegation members heard presentations from the CCA, the China Cotton Textile Association and the China National Textile and Apparel Council regarding current challenges facing the cotton market.
The session with CCTA concluded with an agreement between the NCC and CCTA to foster enhanced communication between the two parties. With a focus on quality, the two groups will explore opportunities to jointly promote both U.S. raw cotton and U.S.-manufactured yarn, as well as Chinese cotton, in an effort to combat the growing competition from synthetic fibers.
Later, in Hubei Province, the U.S. delegation met with the Hubei Provincial Cotton Association and visited the Hubei Yinfeng Logistic Park. The group toured Xiantao’s cotton fields and Xiaogan’s textile mill.
In Shanghai, they toured CCI’s office, met with Zhangjiagang Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau and toured its cotton laboratory. The group also visited the Zhangjiagang bonded cotton warehouse and Zhangjiagang Zhongrong Logistics Company, a bonded port warehouse.
The NCC delegation was led by NCC Chairman Shane Stephens, a warehouseman who serves as vice president of Cotton Services and Warehouse Division for Staplcotn Cooperative Association in Greenwood, Miss.
“We were pleased to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the Chinese cotton industry, which traditionally has been a strong importer of U.S. raw cotton,” Stephens said. “I believe this mutual exchange of information solidified our relationship with this important consumer of U.S. cotton and provided an opportunity to demonstrate the U.S. cotton industry’s continued commitment to meeting the needs of our customers.”
Other delegation members included William Barksdale, who is managing director of Cargill Cotton in Cordova, Tenn.; Plains Cotton Cooperative Association President and CEO Kevin Brinkley of Lubbock, Texas; National Cotton Ginners Association First Vice President David Blakemore of Campbell, Mo; and four cotton producers: B.E. “Sonny” Davis, Jr., Cottondale, Fla.; Patrick L. Johnson, Jr., Tunica, Miss.; Doyle K. Schniers, San Angelo, Texas; and Gregory C. Wuertz, Casa Grande, Ariz.
For more information about the U.S. cotton industry, visit www.cotton.org.