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2023 CSITC Round Trials continue multi-year trend of positive results

The ICAC's Task Force on Commercial Standardization of Instrument Testing of Cotton (CSITC) is on a decade-long run of improvement in Round Trials (RTs), with the positive results that began in 2011 extending through 2023.

In each RT, participating laboratories test 1-12 instruments not only to reduce variation and ensure that their instruments are producing accurate and consistent results, but crucially, to demonstrate to the industry that they are serious about the quality of their work. Properly calibrated instruments benefit everyone in the cotton trade by ensuring all parties are compensated based on accurate numbers, reducing the delays and additional costs that result from claims and arbitrations.

In the 2023 RTs:

There were participating laboratories from 30 countries.

There were between 57 and 68 labs participating in each of the four RTs.

Due to seasonal participation, the number of instruments tested in each RT ranged from 90 to 158.

The 158 instruments tested in the third RT of 2023 nearly broke the all-time record of 160, which was set in 2012.

The average annual median Overall Evaluation Result (OER) in 2023 was 0.342 — as good as the results in 2020 and 2022, but a little short of the all-time best record set in 2021 (0.323).

While the past year clearly produced excellent results, the success of the RTs throughout the last decade is easy to see. Compared to early years (2007 to 2011), participating labs have seen reductions in variation for all measured properties:

Micronaire: 35%

Strength: 34%

Length UHML: 14%

Length Uniformity: 22%

Color Reflectance: 60%

Color Yellowness: 24%

Trash Area 21% (trash compared to 2016, not 2007-2011)

In addition, as the chart below illustrates, the median OER has improved significantly over the last decade, dropping from 0.54 in 2010 0.34 in 2023.

Round Trial Results, 2007-Present © 2024 ICAC
Round Trial Results, 2007-Present © 2024 ICAC

About the CSITC Round Trials

Every quarter since 2007, CSITC RTs are conducted via cooperation among ICAC (managing participants), Bremen Fibre Institute (organization and evaluation), and USDA (sample provisions and dispatch). The goal is for all labs to achieve test results that are fitting to the reference values, so that the deviation between laboratories is reduced, which will help limit the number of costly claims suffered by both buyers and sellers.

Laboratories that are interested in learning more or want to participate in the 2024 RTs should send an email to csitcsecretariat@icac.org or Maria Borisova (maria@icac.org). For more information, please visit www.csitc.org.

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