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India Bans Cotton Exports, Global Prices Jump

posted: March 5, 2012

India banned cotton exports with immediate effect on Monday to ensure supplies for domestic mills, boosting global prices some 4.5 percent as the absence of shipments from the world’s second-largest producer might tighten a market facing weak demand.

India has already exported 9.4 million bales, the government said on Monday, higher than the projected export surplus quota of 8.4 million bales New Delhi had set in January, due to strong demand from China. Each bale is 170 kg.

This excess led India’s Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to ban shipments, to ensure steady supplies for the local textile industry, the country’s largest employer after agriculture and which accounts for some 4 percent of GDP.

“The decision to ban exports took into account the trend of domestic consumption and depletion of domestic availability,” the government said in a statement.

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