Global study finds U.S. COTTON is
In the Spring of 2017,
Cotton Council International (CCI) reached out to mills and
manufacturers around the world to gauge perceptions of U.S.
cotton compared to cotton from other markets. In May and June of
2019, CCI conducted a follow-up to this survey.
The 2019 survey was
conducted by a third party research firm who contacted 243 mill
and manufacturer representatives to gain insight into their
purchase decisions, as well as perceptions of U.S. cotton.
Representatives surveyed came from 17 countries including the
six largest purchasing regions in the world: Northeast Asia,
Southeast Asia, South Asia, China, Latin America and Central
Quality remains most important factor
in purchasing cotton
Respondents were first
asked to rate the most important factors in their cotton
purchase decisions. Similar to 2017, quality (88% top two
factors) and price (81%) were two of the top purchase factors
for global mills and manufacturers, with both increasing in
But in 2019, overall
satisfaction (83%) with the product and contamination (81%)
became significantly more important factors, with each exceeding
80%. Other factors with major gains since 2017 included
maximizing efficiency (74%), sustainability (60%) and lead times
Sustainability gains importance with brands
importance of sustainability to mills and manufacturers is being
driven by the push for sustainability by their customers, global
brands and retailers.
When asked to describe
how important various factors were to these customers,
sustainability was important to 83% and traceability to 76%.
U.S. Cotton is significantly preferred
Mills and manufacturers
globally continue to prefer U.S. cotton significantly. Over half
of global mills and manufacturers surveyed prefer U.S. cotton,
nearly four times the level of any other country.
U.S. Cotton is preferred because of trust and
The survey asked mill
and manufacturer representatives about the reputation of U.S.
cotton compared to growths from the next four largest cotton
exporting areas—Brazil, Australia, India and Africa.
Respondents held more
positive perceptions of U.S. cotton than any other growth for
“trustworthy,” “reliable” and “respected.” U.S. and Australian
cotton were far preferred for “high quality” and “low
U.S. cotton remains the
leader around the world despite the rapidly changing environment
for cotton trade. The positive reputation compared to other
growths from other regions explains why mills and manufacturers
prefer U.S. cotton and why the United States is by far the
largest exporter of cotton fiber. While trade tariffs and other
barriers currently influence the industry, U.S. cotton’s
reputation as The Cotton The World Trusts helps to maintain its
Anees Mahmood Khawaja, Mahmood Group
We are working with COTTON USA and very
happily doing it for probably more than 15 years now. As we
know cotton is a commodity business, so partnerships are what
matter here. It’s somebody that you trust with regards to
traceability, somebody you trust with regards to sustainability,
transparency. And this is it. The products coming out of U.S.
cotton are always more reliable. I’ve been taught that there is
no cotton in the world which is contamination free, but the U.S.
cotton is probably the closest you can get to it.
We plan to further go into U.S. cotton
just because of the contamination element. One of the most
important benefits is that when you buy U.S. cotton you can
actually know what you are buying in terms of the quality, the
So I’m not the technical guy to run my
plant, but from experience I know that my team would always
prefer to run U.S. cotton over any other crop. Because of ,
again the trust part. They know what they’re doing. And I think
the most import part is if there’s a problem they would there to
sort it out. So that does matter. And then having COTTON USA
That’s a lot of value that brings in.
We’ve got conferences happening in Hong Kong, we’ve got
customer, buyers meet ups. Nobody else does that and this is
what matters. This is where the partnership comes along.