SAN DIEGO — A preliminary report from U.S. cotton exporters who attended the recent 2004 Sourcing USA Summit revealed that $51 million of U.S. cotton (200,000 bales) was sold during the event and another $505 million (2 million U.S. bales) is expected to be sold within three months of the event.

The Summit, coordinated by the National Cotton Council’s export promotion arm, Cotton Council International, was held Nov. 19-21 in San Diego, Calif.

Aptly themed “Strengthening Enduring Partnerships,” the event was organized to provide textile mill executives with management-trend information and networking opportunities that can drive their cotton businesses forward.

The Summit attracted some 200 international cotton buyers from 22 countries — a group representing 12.2 million bales of consumption and imports of 5 million bales of U.S. cotton annually. That included buyers from China, which imported some 5 million U.S. bales in the 2003 marketing year, as well as mill executives from other countries in Asia and Latin America, Europe, Turkey and South Asia.

Robert Norris, CCI president and a Bakersfield, Calif., cooperative official, said, “These transactions are a much-needed boost for U.S. cotton, especially considering that for the first time in nine years, global cotton production significantly exceeds demand. This event also afforded our industry an excellent opportunity to communicate U.S. cotton’s unique attributes and its unmatched technical services to these important international customers.”

The Summit also was successful in offering the attendees help with textile market sourcing challenges. For example, Norris’ report to the 450 attendees emphasized that the United States is the only country that tests every bale through High Volume Instrumentation — thus providing textile mills using U.S. cotton complete and reliable information about the cottons they purchase.

Another of the 22 presentations included testimonials on Cotton Incorporated’s Engineered Fiber Selection System — technology that enhances the quality of yarns and fabrics produced from U.S. cotton.

Norris said the overseas mill executives also visited U.S. cotton farms, gins and other facilities en route to or after attending the Summit.

“This was another way that served to strengthen the relationships between U.S. industry members and the key customers they supply,” he said. “The information, trade meetings and contacts made during the Summit period illustrated “the level of attention and service that only the U.S. cotton fiber industry can offer its customers.”

In addition to CCI, Cotton Incorporated and USDA, the Summit was supported by the following companies and organizations:

Strategic partners: Allenberg Cotton Co. (Louis Dreyfus Group); Beltwide Cotton Cooperative; Cargill Cotton; Calcot, Ltd.; Dunavant Enterprises, Inc.; ECOM USA, Inc.; Handwerker-Winburne, Inc.; J.G. Boswell Company; Jess Smith & Sons, Inc.; Macquarie Cotton USA; Plains Cotton Cooperative Association; PLEXUS Cotton Limited; Reinhart, Inc.; San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association; Staplcotn; Southwestern Irrigated Cotton Growers Association; Supima; Weil Brothers-Cotton, Inc.; White Gold Association Inc.

Sponsoring partners: ACG Cotton Marketing, LLC; Eastern Trading Co., Inc.; Multicotton U.S.A., Inc.; Texas Cotton Marketing Corp.

Allied sponsors: Cargo Control USA; Cobank; Cotlook Limited; Delta and Pine Land Co.; DuPont Crop Protection; Emergent Genetics USA, Inc.; Fibermax-Bayer CropScience; Helena Chemical Company; Monsanto Ag Products Company; New York Board of Trade; Rabobank; Rieter Machine Works Ltd.; Steadfast Futures and Options Inc.; SGS Control Services, Inc.; Valent USA; Wakefield Inspection Svc. Inc.