India has suspended the online process for registering cotton exports after a rush of applications meant it reached its pre-set quotas just ten days after bookings began.

The Textile Commissioner today (11 October) said: "Applications equal to the stipulated exportable surplus quantity have already been received. The online process for registration of contracts is therefore suspended."

The government had allocated permits to ship 5.5m bales in the 2010/11 season, with registration beginning on 1 October for shipments that would take place from 1 November. Traders must complete shipments within 45 days of receiving permits, or by 15 December at the latest, a notice explained.

The Textile Commissioner now says the online registration facility "may be resumed if exportable surplus quantity becomes available."

India, the world's second-biggest producer and exporter of cotton, introduced a ban on raw cotton exports in April in an attempt to halt soaring price hikes and exports. It also imposed monthly limits on the amount of cotton, even under registered contracts, that could be exported.

At the end of last month the country postponed the resumption of raw cotton exports by one month, after heavy rains in major cotton-producing areas such as Punjab and Andhra Pradesh delayed this year's cotton harvest.