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India won't allow extra cotton exports for now: Anand Sharma

April 10, 2012 - New Delhi

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has said India would not allow additional cotton exports as of now though it could permit shipments already registered with the government after revalidating.

Sharma said this after a panel of ministers met to review cotton exports from India, the world's second-largest producer, which banned shipments of the fibre in March.

India halted new cotton exports after traders shipped record 9.5 million bales of 170 kg each, much higher than a projected 8 million bales, but stepped back from a total ban saying it would review 2.5 million bales already registered but not shipped.

Around one million bales cleared by customs but not yet shipped at the time of the ban were also allowed. India's cotton output is expected to hit a record high of 34 million bales in 2011-12.

"That what was registered, had to be scrutinised and revalidated, almost half a million has already gone out from land custom stations, whatever was revalidated and was with the port authorities or the custom authorities. The rest, the revalidation process is on and once the revalidation is complete that registered and revalidated will go," said Sharma.

India supplies about 13 percent of global cotton exports and its biggest customer is China, which had criticised the initial total ban.

Domestic textile mills, which use about 25 million bales of cotton a year, have lobbied for the export ban on worries over supply shortages and soaring local prices.


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