India has cleared the way for exports of raw cotton under existing contracts, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.

(For more, see: Cotton carryover key to understanding market)

India banned cotton exports on March 5 to insure that domestic textile mills had access to a cheap local supply of raw cotton. India’s Commerce Ministry was forced to revoke the ban within a week, after loud protests from cotton-producing states.

While the government lifted the ban, it decided to scrutinize contracts covering cotton that had yet to be shipped. On Wednesday, April 18, it gave the go-ahead to export 1.9 million bales under those existing contracts, the article noted.

India could export as much as 1.5 million bales of cotton, or about a third of its production.