U.S. cotton industry leaders visited with the Turkish cotton industry on September 7-13 to convey the U.S. cotton industry’s continued commitment to timely delivery of high quality cotton to that important customer.

The Cotton Council International (CCI) Executive Delegation was led by CCI President Jimmy Webb who said, “Turkey is the United States’ second largest customer of raw cotton and we are committed to meeting their needs in terms of both quality and timely shipments. I feel fortunate to be able to travel to Turkey and service some of our best customers. It was apparent that the Turkish industry greatly appreciated the visit, and they expressed their desire to continue doing business with the U.S. cotton industry.”

The Leary, Ga., cotton producer said initial reports already include sales of almost 1,000 bales worth more than $300,000.

Webb said the visit not only gave the U.S. cotton industry the necessary platform to discuss issues surrounding U.S. raw cotton quality but “reinforced its continued commitment to ongoing dialogue between our two countries.” That included gathering information from Turkish cotton industry officials and updating them on key aspects of the U.S. cotton industry. Delegation members presented reports on U.S. and World Cotton Production, Supply and Demand Overview, U.S. Cotton Varieties and Characteristics by Region: The Last 15 Years, Standard Procedures for Purchase of U.S. Cotton and Contract Sanctity, Cotton Risk Management in Volatile Times and Supima Market Update.

In Gaziantep and Kahramanmarash, the delegation met with the country’s largest producers, representing more than 50 percent of Turkey's cotton use. In Istanbul, they met with leading trade and local marketers of U.S. cotton. The delegation also met with key Pakistani millers in Dubai for an information exchange.

The U.S. cotton Executive Delegation was the first to visit Turkey since 2006 when a CCI Executive Delegation visited the region. This latest visit was part of an ongoing CCI market development effort that has led to average annual exports of 2 million bales of cotton over the last five years.

Also in the delegation were American Cotton Producers Director Ted Schneider, a Monroe, La. producer; Cotton Incorporated Treasurer Dahlen Hancock, a Lubbock, Tex., producer; American Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA) President Ricky Clarke, a Cordova, Tenn., merchant; ACSA First Vice President Eduardo Esteve, a Dallas, Tex., merchant; AMCOT Representative Keith Lucas, a Garner, N.C. cooperative official; and Supima Executive Vice President Marc Lewkowitz, Phoenix, Arizona.