Govt has allowed Tuticorin port in Tamil Nadu to start a trans-shipment facility for imported cotton on Friday, which will make cotton readily available for ginners in south India. The facility will stabilise cotton prices and south Indian mills will not face losses during the second-half of the year, due to price volatility and currency fluctuations. Southern India Mills’ Association and Indian Cotton Federation had been demanding a Free Trade Zone at the port as most cotton is imported here, and as it is closest to the mills. The association has also succeeded in facilitating trade between Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The Tuticorin port’s trans-shipment facility has free of cost storage for around 250 containers of cotton for up to 30 days and for another 60 days at a discounted rate with freedom to sell the cotton either in India or abroad. India’s cotton import is expected at around 2.7 mln bales (1 bale = 170 kg) in 2016-17 (Oct-Sep), vs 2.2 mln bales LY.