Indian government bans cotton exports

Indian government bans cotton exports

MUMBAI - Agence France-Presse
Indian government bans cotton exports

A fork-lift operator stacks bales of cotton at a depot in Sanand, India. AFP photo

India, the world’s second-largest producer and exporter of cotton, has banned overseas shipments of the commodity to guarantee local supplies, a major trade group said yesterday.

Siddhartha Rajagopal, executive director of the Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council, said the step appeared to have been taken because exports were higher than government estimates.

India has already exported 8.5 million bales in the financial year to the end of March, he said, more than a the government estimate of 8.4 million.

India’s cotton exports were on track to cross 10 million bales for the period, driven by demand from factories in China, Rajagopal told Agence France-Presse.

“This was a first step to take stock of the situation. Many other steps could have been taken,” he said, adding that the move was to reassure local textile makers who are concerned about shortages or higher prices.