Egyptian cotton is extra long stable and they want to import short stable for which the spinners and weavers want to open more countries to be a source of cotton importation. They want to import short stable to produce a coarser yarn for T-shirts, for denim.
Mohamed Kassem, chairman of the Ready Made Garments Export Council at the African textile conference in Cape Town said that the council wants to expand its base of African cotton suppliers and is seeking to import around 250,000 tonnes a year. As, African imports are not expected to have any impact on local Egyptian producers because it was a different variety.
Egypt currently sources cotton from Greece, Uzbekistan and Burkina Faso, with Sudanese and Syrian also available although political unrest in these two countries have hampered imports.
The move could be a further relaxation of restrictive import rules designed to protect the domestic industry after a two-year temporary import ban was also lifted.
They have suggested to the government to open all African countries, except if there is infestation of certain pests. They have requested that African imports be effective immediately and are hopefully things will move fast.
Egypt's cotton exports have been hit by a local hike in prices this year, following a decline in local production brought about by reduced acreage and the import ban removal.
Exports have dropped to 17,028 tonnes since the beginning of the marketing season of the cash crop in September 2013, a drop of 45.3 percent compared with the 31,137 tonnes exported in the same period of the previous season, authorities said in January.
African countries expected to benefit include Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
According to the African Cotton and Textile Industries Federation the continent produces some 1.2 million tonnes of cotton a year, 6 percent of the world's production.
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