Egyptian cotton seeing revival following Welspun scandal
Egyptian cotton sees a revival? The crackdown on “fake” Egyptian cotton worldwide and increase in domestic prices are helping revive interest in cultivating Egypt’s high quality long-staple cotton, Arwa Gaballa and Eric Knecht write for Reuters. Egyptian cotton output will be "between double and triple this year," said Ahmed Elbosaty, chairman of Modern Nile Cotton, following a year where the crop hit a “more than 100-year low.” The government moved in 2016 to save the crop by banning “all but the highest quality cotton seed, dramatically shrinking the area under cultivation but restoring quality.” The accusations of Welspun mislabeling products for US retailers as Egyptian cotton ended up reviving interest in the product. "This whole thing revived interest in Egyptian cotton and increased demand," Nabil al-Santaricy, head of the Alexandria Cotton Exporters Association, said. "There’s now more focus on selecting suppliers who use 100 percent Egyptian cotton … Companies are telling us that ‘we are required to get your license because we cannot sell our product without it,’" the head of Cotton Egypt Association said. Also supporting the industry is the EGP float, which made its prices more competitive internationally.