India traders should fulfill local cotton, yarn demand before exports, says Goyal

After limiting wheat exports to reduce soaring wheat prices, the government attempted to allay concerns over rising cotton prices on Wednesday.

Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal met with cotton industry stakeholders and urged them to "only redirect surplus cotton and yarn for exports." The surge in cotton prices is part of the global "commodity shock" caused by the Ukraine conflict.

Goyal said that the textile sector should first give cotton to the home industry. He urged the community to assist cotton farmers, spinners, and workers at a meeting with stakeholders in the cotton value chain. Under the chairmanship of Suresh Bhai Kotak, the Minister also created the Cotton Council of India.

An official release stated, "The Council would have members from the Ministry of Textiles, Agriculture, Commerce, Finance, Commerce and Industry, Cotton Corporation of India, and Cotton Research Institute."  The meeting talked over views and suggestions to "soften cotton prices" on an "urgent basis".

Goyal stated that the government would "actively evaluate the spinning sector's request for an exemption from import duty on those import contracts in which bills of lading are issued up to September 30, 2022 to address the current cotton crisis and logistic challenges."  

Goyal's statement comes amid mounting worry over rising cotton yarn prices. Workers in Tirupur's garment factories stopped work on Monday and Tuesday in protest of increased cotton prices, escalating the situation in Tamil Nadu. Protests have erupted in Tirupur, Karur, and Erode clothing factories. Cotton prices hit 1 lakh per candy earlier this week (356 kg). This was a significant increase from previous year's 57,000 per sweet.

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