Good news for the cotton industry, Gulf Coast Spinning Co., plans to invest $130 million in a new cotton spinning facility on 43.5 acres at the Bunkie Industrial Park, in central Louisiana. Construction will begin in mid-2014.
The plant is the second phase of a project that included the opening of a Zagis USA spinning facility in Lacassine that employs 79 people in Jefferson Davis Parish. The Zagis mill costs $20 million.
At 500,000 square feet, the Bunkie cotton spinning mill will hire more than 200 employees by the end of 2015 and 307 people in 2016, according to the newspaper.
Gulf Coast Spinning expects to ship most of its cotton yarn overseas. When both mills are running, theyâ€™ll consume 15 percent to 20 percent of Louisianaâ€™s total cotton crop, or between 65,000 bales and 88,000 bales annually, from approximately 32,000 acres to 44,000 acres.
The announcement comes at a good time for the cotton industry, which not that many years ago, boasted a strong and vibrant textile segment, which consumed upwards of 11 million bales annually, according to USDA. Over the next 13 years, however, the industry lost ground to low-cost mills in China. Domestic use declined by a few million bales a year, and bottomed out in 2011-12 at around 3.3 million bales.
In 2013-14, U.S. domestic mill use has been projected at 3.6 million bales.
With great weather producing some excellent cotton crops in the central to south Delta this year, hopefully will bring a few extra cents to the producer. Futures prices are good, but not great.
The cotton market still has a number of issues to work through including a substantial oversupply of the natural fiber in the world, most of which is sitting in Chinese warehouses, under the watchful eye of bureaucrats.
For growers, the difficulty of controlling glyphosate-resistant weeds and the rise of secondary pests in cotton have made the cotton producerâ€™s job more difficult, costly and time consuming.
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