India to lift cotton exports ban

India will lift a controversial ban on cotton exports just a week after imposing it, allowing more supplies into a global market that is oversupplied and which is likely to further push down international prices. The ban, announced unexpectedly on 5 March after a record 9.5m bales had been shipped, ran into criticism from the influential farm minister, Sharad Pawar, and China, the biggest buyer of cotton from the world’s second-largest producer. Government ministers had taken into account the interests of farmers, industry and trade in deciding to lift the ban, a statement quoting trade minister Anand Sharma said yesterday. “A formal order will be made public tomorrow by the government,” he added.