India on Monday announced a ban on cotton export in an effort to increase its supply in the domestic market.
"Export of cotton has been prohibited till further orders. Exports against registration certificates already issued will not be allowed either," the country's Director-General of Foreign Trade said in a statement.
The world's second largest producer of cotton, India exports mainly to China which is the world's largest user of the natural fiber. India had already exported 8.5 million bales, higher than government estimates made in January of 8.4 million bales of 170 kilograms each for the year, on strong demand from China. Over 80 per cent of exports so far have headed to the Asian giant, Indian media reports said.
Traders in India had signed contracts for nearly ten million bales in total for export. Domestic textile mills were worried that such large quantities of exports would cut availability in the domestic market.
"It is a very regretful decision and this will permanently damage the reputation of the country in the international market," Cotton Association of India President Dhiren N. Sheth said.
by RTT Staff Writer
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