The International Cotton Association (ICA) has told just-style that Bangladesh cotton importers need to clean up their act after 93 companies were blacklisted by the ICA for non-payment of bills.

More companies from Bangladesh than any other country were listed by the UK-based association.

ICA managing director Kai Hughes called it a "blot on the character of a major garment producing country where the majority of firms honour their commitments."

They will henceforth be banned from trading with ICA members, which will be tough. "The majority, if not all, of the world's largest and most reputable merchants are members of the ICA," Hughes noted.

He added that some defaulters may have lost access to finance; other may have defaulted deliberately to buy at cheaper suppliers.

Bangladesh Textile Mills Association secretary general, Feroz Ahmed, said unstable prices had worsened the problem: "In April 2011 there was a sharp decline in prices and in August 2010 there was a 400% increase in cotton prices."

Resolving these problems requires the "positive input of defaulting mills and merchant suppliers, together with the political will," Hughes added.