India’s Cotton Exports
India is world’s largest cotton exporter after United States. Till 2003-04, India was net importer of cotton; however after that India has been a net exporter thanks to liberalization of cotton export; increased production of cotton due to use of Bt Cotton.
In 2013-14, India exported 11.7 million bales of cotton, which is almost one third of the total cotton produced in the country.
Out of the above exports, around 2/3 part goes to China and rest to Thailand, Bangladesh and Pakistan. All these countries have flourishing garment manufacturing industries. In recent times, Vietnam is also emerging as a major importer of India’s cotton.
Liberalization of Cotton Exports
India is a Cotton surplus and Yarn surplus country. Government of India had liberalized raw cotton exports since July 2001, dispensing with the system of allocation of cotton export quota in favour of different agencies and traders. Exports of cotton from the country are under Open General License (OGL) since July 2001. OGL is a term from 1970s and 80s and as such does not exist today. Today, it refers to no restriction of import and export.