In the first seven months of this year, Vietnam imported 808,000 tons of cotton

In the first seven months of this year, Vietnam imported 808,000 tons of cotton

Vietnam's textile and garment exports are expected to reach US$30.5bn in 2017, with the US market accounting for more than half, according to new figures.

In the first eight months of this year, textile and garment exports grew steadily to $19.8bn, with export value increasing by 9.9% over the same period last year, according to the Vietnam Textile and Apparel Association (VITAS). Vietnam's cotton imports have also surged over the past ten years from 150,000 tonnes in 2005 to around 1.2m tonnes in 2016.

In the first seven months of this year, Vietnam imported 808,000 tons of cotton worth $1.47bn, of which, imports from the US accounted for 60%.

According to VITAS chairman, Vu Duc Giang, the US has been a significant market for Vietnam's textile and garment industry for many years, and conversely, Vietnam's spinning industry has gradually increased its imports of American cotton over the last decade.

"Cotton products from the US are rated as the best, with less impurities, and stable quality. The Vietnam textile and apparel industry will have a lot of benefits in cooperating with the cotton industry in the United States," Giang says, acknowledging what he says is a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties.

Textile and garment manufacturer Hoa Tho Corporation, which operates three fibre mills in Vietnam's Da Nang and Quang Nam cities with annual capacity of about 1,600 tons of yarn, imports around 60% of its cotton from the US.

While TCE Corporation (Korea), which produces cotton, blended, corduroy, velveteen, denim, and diverse stretch fabrics, says its factory in Nam Dinh uses 100% imported cotton from the US. More than 90% of the firm's products are exported to Japan, the US, and Europe.

Recently, VITAS and the United States Cotton Association (CCI) co-organised a Cotton Day event in Ho Chi Minh City to connect the textile industry with its partners, suppliers and experts in the cotton industry. Following the event, US companies have recommended the US Government establish cotton-bonded warehouses in Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong to help create better opportunities for Vietnamese spinners to access US cotton products, while shortening buying times and reducing financial pressure.

Meanwhile, foreign companies, including US businesses, are continuing to invest in Vietnam's garment and textile sector.

TCE says it is building a second factory specialising in apparel adjacent to its current fibre factory, with a capacity of around 600,000 products per month. Positive signals from the market means the company expects Vietnam to be its production base in the near future.

Likewise, US company Trillions One-Member, a subsidiary of The Trillions Group (USA) – supplier to Adidas and Nike – has proposed leasing a further five hectares at the Tan Duc Industrial Park (Long An) to expand production in 2018. The facility produces and finishes textile products.