Protests by cotton mill workers and bad weather could delay the resumption of raw cotton exports from India further, according to local reports.

The country has already put back the planned resumption of registrations for the exports until 1 October, but sources have indicated that unrest over the issue and heavy local rains could create further delays.

Current restrictions only allow exports of raw cotton if licensed by India’s directorate general of foreign trade, but after 1 October, exports need only be pre-registered with the Textile Commission.

There is widespread concern in India that the resumption of cotton exports could disrupt the market for garment manufacturers working in the domestic and export markets.

They are already facing a sharp rise in cotton prices, brought about by the planned resumption of exports, as well as by the loss of cotton crops in the Pakistan floods.

Some have voiced fears that a large increase in cotton exports might create shortages in India, driving prices up further and affecting productivity.

Major cotton-producing areas such as Punjab and Andhra Pradesh have been badly affected by recent rains, potentially delaying this year’s cotton harvest and exacerbating any shortage.