Brazilian Cotton Quality Program is well received in China

Joint program between Mapa and Abrapa certifies cotton bales that meet the requirements of the international fiber quality verification standard

05.04.2023 | 15:32 (UTC -3)
Catarina Guedes

The 2022/23 harvest of Brazilian cotton will arrive on the Chinese market with a new feature: part of the bales shipped will have already been certified by the Brazilian Cotton Quality Program, developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock (Mapa) in partnership with the Brazilian Association of Producers of Cotton (Abrapa). The news was well received by Chinese industrialists and authorities during a mission carried out at the end of March.

“Our objective in this exchange was to present the Brazilian Cotton Quality Program to the textile industry and the Chinese government. We had the presence of the Minister of Agriculture, Carlos Fávaro, in our program and the reception was great. The next step now is to signal to Chinese partners the shipment of the first bales already certified by the new program”, explains the president of Abrapa, Alexandre Schenkel, who coordinated the Brazilian delegation in China.

In practice, the joint program between Mapa and Abrapa certifies cotton bales that meet the requirements of the international fiber quality verification standard. This analysis is carried out using internationally standardized and audited equipment and procedures, allowing the feather quality indicators to be accepted by the global market.

In ten years, imports of Brazilian cotton by China increased by 47%, and today, the country is the largest international customer of Brazilian cotton and is on the list of priorities for Abrapa's actions.

In the 2021/22 commercial year, 455,61 thousand tons were shipped to China – which accounted for 27% of shipments in the period. Feather is the second most exported Brazilian product to the Chinese, behind only soybeans.

Agenda

The Brazilian delegation's first engagement in China was at the 2023 CNCE Industry Development Conference, an event held by the China National Cotton Exchange (CNCE), in Beijing. Abrapa was one of the supporters of the CNCE event through the Cotton Brazil program, an international promotion arm for Brazilian down.

In addition to a booth for networking and a lecture on cotton production in Brazil given by Abrapa's Director of International Relations, Marcelo Duarte, the conference opened space for a speech by Minister Carlos Fávaro, highlighting the recently launched Brazilian Cotton Quality Program.

Then, the delegation went to Qingdao, where the largest port of entry for imported cotton is located and where the Chinese Inspection and Quarantine Agency (CIQ) is located - responsible for classifying all cotton wool. The Brazilians visited the cotton warehouses in the port and the classification laboratories, learned about the technical procedures adopted by the Chinese authorities and presented how the Brazilian Cotton Quality Program works.

“We agreed to build an official technical cooperation agreement between the Brazilian and Chinese governments to align technical standards, facilitating trade”, revealed Schenkel.

The agenda in China also included a meeting to evaluate the partnership between Abrapa and CNCE, formalized in 2021, to discuss new goals and projects. Brazilians also fulfilled an agenda with the two largest state-owned companies operating in the cotton market in China: Chinatex and China National Cotton Group Corp. (CNCGC), which together account for more than 2 million tons/year.

The mission in China concluded with a dinner between Abrapa's delegation, main executives of Chinese state-owned companies, minister Carlos Fávaro and closest advisors. The Brazilian team also participated in the “Brazil-China Economic Seminar”, held by the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), which brought together more than 450 Chinese and Brazilian businesspeople.

ROI

“We scored points with our Chinese partners. After the country opened to foreigners, we were the first commercial mission from the cotton market to be received, and with a return already scheduled”, comments the president of Abrapa. From April 15th to 25th, the association carries out another institutional exchange with destinations in China and South Korea, taking Brazilian producers and exporters.

In the April mission, the focus will be broader. “This time, we prioritize the Brazilian Cotton Quality Program. In April, we will show how the Brazilian harvest is progressing, the quality and sustainability indicators and also how the traceability of Brazilian plume works”, anticipates Schenkel.

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