India Partially Reverses Cotton Exports Ban

Indian laborer at cotton mill in Dhrangadhra, about 110 kilometers from Ahmadabad, India, Dec. 11, 2011.
Indian laborer at cotton mill in Dhrangadhra, about 110 kilometers from Ahmadabad, India, Dec. 11, 2011.
Anjana Pasricha

India has partially reversed a ban on cotton exports that was imposed to protect domestic supplies.

The ban triggered protests from local farmers and led to an outcry in cotton importing countries such as China as global prices spiked.

The government now says traders can ship cotton for which exporters had already made commitments before the ban was imposed.

India, the world’s second largest cotton producer, abruptly cut off cotton supplies to global buyers on March 4 following a surge in exports that took almost 40 percent of local production. Indian officials said they wanted to ensure sufficient supplies for the local textile industry, which is concerned about shortages and high prices due to strong demand from China.

A cotton-industry group in China called the export ban “irresponsible” and said it would disrupt international trade in cotton. The group had urged a review of the decision.

China is India’s largest customer for cotton. The thriving garment industries of Bangladesh, Thailand and Pakistan are other key importers.

The president of Cotton Association of India, Dhiren Sheth, said exporters were concerned about being unable to meet their commitments.

“It does damage the reputation of the country in terms of being a regular and reliable supplier of cotton,” he said.

In India there was a mixed response to the ban. It was favored by the domestic textile industry -- India's second-largest employer -- which, suffering from a recent downturn, hoped that falling cotton prices would improve its competitiveness among Asian countries.

But India’s farm minister Sharad Pawar expressed concern about the ban's impact on farmers, a sentiment echoed by Sheth, who said local farmers worried that cutting off exports would affect their incomes.

“Otherwise prices will fall and fall sharply," said Sheth. "For example, they fell ten percent once the ban was announced.”

Cotton prices touched an all-time high last year, but have been tapering off in recent months. This is the second time India banned cotton exports. A ban was also imposed in 2010.

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs