• Case studies of large national cotton consumers

    Chapter 6 - Market profiles - Thailand 


    In 2005, 72% of Thai spinning mills imported cotton from West Africa. In 2006, this proportion was decreasing, and only 60% of Thai spinning mills imported cotton from West Africa. Thai mills encountered several problems in the import of cotton from West Africa, such as scarcity, unavailability, delayed transportation, low quality and contamination by plastic strings. Similar findings were also confirmed for cotton from East Africa.

    African Cotton is perceived by Thai entrepreneurs as having the following characteristics:

    • Moderate quality;
    • Moderate price;
    • Long staple cotton; and
    • High contamination.

    Thai textile mills requested African cotton producers to provide more transparent information on all aspects of cotton, and noted that prices should be more attractive. Thai entrepreneurs noticed a distinct difference between African and United States cotton: United States cotton is perceived as being better quality than African cotton in terms of whiteness, fibre evenness and fibre fineness.

    Normally, Thai spinning mills purchase cotton through an agent, because it is convenient and easy. The first decision factor for purchasing cotton is based on fibre length, cotton quality, impurity, fibre strength, and colour of cotton lint. Thai spinning mills determined their standard requirement for imported cotton as 1.125" length, fibre fineness 3.5–4.9 micronaire, and fibre strength 28–30 grams per tex.

    Eighty per cent of Thai spinning mills have and use fibre-testing instruments (High Volume Instruments). Spinning mills that are not equipped with instruments rely on the inspector’s experience. Some large companies use both methods. Testing and inspection are done at the spinning mills.

    Most of the mills do not determine the standards of cotton bales and labelling. The lead-time for purchasing cotton is two months. The purchase order will generally depend on the market situation as well as the market price. 

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    Cotton Exporter's Guide

    Brochure - African cotton promotion
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