The Indian government has decided not to impose any restrictions on cotton exports in the new season, which begins on 1 October.

An official notice confirms that exporters need to register with the Directorate General Of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to send shipments, but will be free to export any quantity they want.

India, which is the world's second-biggest producer and exporter of cotton, introduced a ban on raw cotton exports back in April last year, in an attempt to halt soaring price hikes and exports. Shipments resumed on 1 November, but a cap of 5.5m bales was imposed, although this was raised to 6.5m bales in May.

The government action came after cotton prices endured a period of huge volatility, peaking at INR62,500 (US$1,400) per candy in March.

However, the country's Cotton Advisory Board (CAB) now estimates cotton production in 2011-12 (which runs from October to September) will be 35.5m bales, while consumption by the domestic industry will account for 26.4m bales. Exports are likely to be in the region of 7m bales.