Anand Sharma, India’s textile and commerce minister, announced on Apr. 9 that India will not permit additional cotton exports until an undisclosed future date. However, the approximately 2 million bales (ca.340 thos. tonnes) that merchants have already contracted for export will be permitted.
According to a report from a group representing cotton farmers, ”until further orders, there will not be any fresh registrations” for cotton exports.
Farmers have reacted strongly against India’s recent decision. Indian domestic demand from textile mills is about 20 million bales (170 kg each), while the national production is approximately 33 million bales, and reiterated his demand that export restrictions be removed.
Earlier this week, India’s Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, approved the purchase of 2.5 million bales of cotton by the state-run Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) in an attempt to keep the market above the minimum support price. However, the group of ministers – after meeting and deciding to continue the export ban on fresh cotton export registrations – asked CCI to delay purchasing the cotton on the domestic market until an official purchase price is established by the government.
In the first five month of the current cotton year in India, which began on Oct. 1, 2011, the country exported 9.4 million bales of cotton (1,59 million tones).