By Bob Antoshak
FiberMax Exports – A Driving Force
There’s been a lot of hand wringing lately over falling prices for cotton. Most often, industry analysts say that lower prices are due to weaker demand from textile mills, growing global stocks, a resurgence of synthetic fibers – or a combination of all three.
While it’s true U.S. cotton exports in aggregate fell in 2011, that was not the case for all types of cotton. For example, building on previous success, exports of FiberMax-type cotton (that is, cotton with a staple length greater than 1-1/8” that’s not Pima) continues as a driving force behind U.S. exports.
This simple table tells the story:
Defying Economic Trends
Of course, aggregate declines in U.S. exports are a direct result of a continuing weak global economy. Textile mills have slashed consumption of cotton and other fibers resulting from weak sales of yarns, fabrics and made-up apparel products. So, how do mills around the world compete in such an uncertain market? They can cut costs, cheapen their products in order to maintain business; or, they can improve their products and offer their customers a value proposition. I believe many mills have opted for the latter approach. They want cotton fiber that can help them produce a better yarn or fabric.
What’s the message? Quality sells. The numbers don’t lie. There continues to be a strong and growing market for quality cotton. U.S. Census Bureau data show the increased export of high-quality cotton during a time of decreased overall U.S. exports. Your customers – and their customers – are looking for more. They want quality and ask for it. FiberMax is in demand because of its high-quality fiber and consistent performance, which is the foundation for higher quality finished goods.