The Indian government is to allow cotton exports from the country again, after a decision today (30 March) reversed nearly two-months of restricted shipments.

A meeting by a group of ministers "decided that suspension of new registrations for cotton exports be revoked and exports be permitted."

However, the situation is set to be reassessed in three weeks' time. The government-controlled Cotton Corporation of India has also been mandated to build a buffer stock of 1m bales to ensure an adequate supply of raw material for the textile industry during June, July and August.

The move comes after Indian authorities imposed a ban on exports early last month in a bid to ensure supplies for domestic mills and manufacturers

India is the world's second largest producer of cotton - accounting for around 22% of the world's output - and its stance provoked outrage from domestic farmers and overseas cotton buyers, including its largest customer China.

The decision to ban shipments came after India exported almost 9.4m bales of cotton (at 170kg each) in the current marketing year, which began on 1 October, exceeding an estimated exportable surplus of 8.4m bales.

However, a partial U-turn saw the shipment of another 1.9m bales of cotton that had already been registered before the ban on raw cotton exports was imposed.