Export Restrictions Prompt Bangladesh Importers to Consider Africa
Textile companies in Bangladesh, faced with uncertaity about the availability of Indian exports, are considering sourcing from sub-Saharan Africa.
September 15, 2010
With uncertainty surrounding the availability of future cotton exports from India, textile companies in Bangladesh are considering sub-Saharan African countries as a sourcing option. About 15 percent of the country’s imports have traditionally come from India.
At a two-day cotton marketing and textile training event organized by the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association (BTMA), International Trade Centre (ITC) and Bangladesh Cotton Association (BCA) , Bangladesh Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said, “We will utilize the scope to import low-cost -- but high quality -- cotton from the African countries. The demand for cotton in Bangladesh will also help the African exporters.”
A sourcing shift from India to sub-Saharan Africa might alleviate the supply problem, but it introduces a new set of problems: logistics. While African nations produce more than enough cotton to meet the needs of textile manufacturers at a price they can afford, it currently takes as long as four months to get the shipments from growers in Africa to the mills in Bangladesh.
One possible solution being considered is to have African countries build up stocks in warehouses in Bangladesh ports, which would cut the delivery time to three days or less.