Ethiopia exported just 183 tons of cotton out of several thousand tons of surplus production in the 2011-12 financial year.
The exports for the fiscal year were executed after the government lifted its 18 month export ban in March of 2012.
Ethiopian cotton went to Portugal earning 5.1 million birr according to a report released by the Ministry of Trade. Exports would have been higher if it had not been for the ban said a manager of the Ethiopian Cotton Producers and Experts Association.Exports didn’t increase even after the ban was lifted because there were still stringent requirements put in place by the Ministry of Trade and the Textile Development Institute he noted.
The ban had been put in place to protect domestic textile manufacturers from shortages in raw materials has ultimately affected producers said the manager.
It is to be remembered that a committee of representatives from the sector had allocated surplus cotton for purchase by 15 textile companies but the factories were unable to buy more than 4 thousand tons of a total of 10 thousand tons.
Projected demand for the textile sector for the new financial year is still based on capacity and not on actual demands which may end up resulting in the same sort of surplus as seen in the past year said the manager.
The performance of the textile sector in the just ended financial year was below expectations earning just 84.6 million US dollars from exports which is less than 50 percent of the 171.4 million US dollars projected for the budget year.