Description: Cotton is a natural fibre of vegetable origin, like linen, jute or hemp. Mostly composed of cellulose (a carbohydrate plant substance) and formed by twisted, ribbon-like shaped fibres, cotton is the fruit of a shrubby plant commonly referred to as the "cotton plant". The cotton plant, a variety of plants of the genus Gossypium, belongs to the Malvacae family, which comprises approximately 1,500 species, also including the baobab tree, the bombax or the mallow.
Harvest: For countries in the West African region, the planting season span through May-July while the harvesting period starts around October and continues till December.
Locations: Nigerian cotton which is mainly rain fed is grown in the savanna region of the northern states in the areas extending from. The three major Cotton producing zones in the country are:
Northern Zone: Comprising of Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano, Jigawa and northern part of Niger state.
Eastern Zone: Comprising of Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa and Taraba states.
Southern Zone: Comprising parts of Plateau, Benue, Kogi and Kwara states.
Of the three zones mentioned above, Northern and Eastern zones are considered as the major producing zones and account for 60 and 35 percent of the crop respectively.
Specifications: The preferred grade of cotton lints is expected to have the following characteristics.
Classing grade - Strict Middling White (21-2)
Staple length- ≥ 1-1/8 inches (1.13 inches / 28.6 mm)
Micronaire- 3.8 - 4.2
Strength- ≥ 30 grams per tex
Reflectance- Rd ≥ 75
Yellowness- +b < 9
Length uniformity ratio- ≥ 83%
Short fiber content- ≤ 5%
Elongation- ≥ 6%
Fineness- ≤ 180 millitex (µg/m)
Neps- < 200 / gram
Uses: The major end uses for cotton fibre include wearing apparel, home furnishings, and other industrial uses (such as medical supplies). The cotton fibre is made primarily into yearns and threads for use in the textile and apparel sectors (wearing apparel would account for approximately 60% of cotton consumption). Cotton is also used to make home furnishings, such as draperies (eventually the third major end use) or professional garments (about 5% of cotton fibre demand)
Export market: According to International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) data, China, the United States, India, and Pakistan as a whole have accounted for approximately more than 55% of global cotton consumption over the period 1980 to 2008. However, the major buyers from Nigeria include China, United Kingdom, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Republic of Benin.
Export Price: The FOB prices range from USD1,200-1,500 /MT depending on quality and time of year.
Local price: The local market price per MT ranges from NGN110, 000.00 to NGN150,000.00 or more depending on the quality and the period of the year.