At an event held in Bangkok plans were sealed to expand trade worth more than US$ 34 million between Brazil and Thailand

“You are knocking on our door at just the right time.” These were the words uttered by Somsak Srisupornwanich, the chairman of the Textile Committee of the Thai Confederation of Industries, and which aptly summed up the Cotton Brazil Outlook 2022 – Thailand meeting. The event took place this Wednesday morning (Dec. 1st) in Bangkok and it effectively sealed the interests of both Brazilian cotton growers and the Thai textile industry to expand cotton trade between the two countries.

This was an initiative taken by the Brazilian Cotton Growers Association (Abrapa), in partnership with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency  (Apex Brasil), the Brazilian Embassy in Bangkok and the Brazil-Thailand Chamber of Commerce. At stake is a market that was worth US$34 million last season alone (2020/21), when nine Brazilian states shipped 21,400 tonnes of cotton to Thailand.

With approximately 4,700 manufacturing units producing yarn, fabric and apparel, the country is experiencing a recovery in the sector following the Covid-19 pandemic impacts. “This is an excellent moment as our textile industry is expanding production and looking for suppliers. Brazil is knocking on our door at just the right time. Now, we just need to create a more lasting and trusting relationship”, added Somsak, one of the speakers at the event.

“Today is the beginning of a very important chapter in the commercial relationship between our countries and everything points towards further strengthening of our ties”, emphasized the president of Abrapa, Júlio Cézar Busato. The association, which unites 99% of Brazilian cotton producers and 100% of cotton exporters, aims to continue expanding the Brazilian cotton’s market share of Thai imports. Three years ago, the share was 10% and rose to 16% in the 2020/21 season.

“Thailand has established itself as an important market for Brazil and is now the ninth largest importer of Brazilian cotton,” the Brazilian ambassador in Bangkok, José Borges, pointed out. “On the other hand, thanks to investment in research and technology, Brazilian cotton production has achieved unprecedented levels of quality, sustainability and traceability. Today, we have cotton available on the foreign market throughout the whole year”, added the ambassador.

Stanley Kang of Tuntex Textile Co. Ltd. and the current president of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand emphasized the importance of the quality and sustainability indicators that were presented during the event. “We invest a lot in technological innovation in our industrial park so that we can deliver high level products as required by international buyers. This is a market that strives for quality and sustainability and we have seen today that the Brazilian product is increasingly ‘green’”, said Stanley.

Another favorable point for Brazilian cotton is the fact that 100% of the harvest is mechanized which means the cotton is free from contamination – an essential aspect for the foreign market. Added to this, 81% of the volume produced in the 2020/21 cycle is certified by the Brazilian Responsible Cotton (ABR) program and is eligible for global licensing by the Better Cotton (BCI).

Data for the current crop and forecasts for the 2021/22 cycle were presented at the Cotton Brazil Outlook 2022 – Thailand, by Abrapa’s director of International Relations, Marcelo Duarte, who coordinates Abrapa’s office in Singapore. The forecast for 2022 is a cotton production level of 2.8 million tonnes – an amount, if consolidated, that will represent the second largest crop in the history of the Brazilian cotton industry.

Brazil is the fourth largest cotton producer in the world, behind only India, China and the United States. In 2021, Brazilian farmers became the world’s second largest cotton suppliers.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s strategic position is attractive for trade with Brazil. “Since it is a central access point to the Asian continent, the country represents an important link to Asia, which cannot be ignored. We have a good quality of life, a thriving market and several multinational companies have chosen to install their facilities here in Asia,” said Marcelo Souza, president of the Brazil-Thailand Chamber of Commerce.

Cotton Brazil Outlook 2022

Thailand was the first event to be held in Thailand by the Cotton Brazil program and was broadcast online to Brazil. Cotton Brazil is developed by Abrapa in partnership with Apex Brasil and seeks to promote Brazilian cotton in the international market, especially in Asian countries. The program is supported by the National Association of Cotton Exporters (Anea) and, since 2020, it has had an office in Singapore.