MUMBAI, May 8 (Reuters) - Indian farmers' cooperative NAFED started selling its stocks of cotton into the domestic market from Wednesday, a statement on its website showed.
Traders said India's other big cotton stockholder, Cotton Corporation of India (CCI), had so far conducted two auctions for about 45,000 bales.
India and China, the world's top producers and consumers of cotton, are selling stocks to dampen domestic prices and protect their textile mills. Their sales could add further pressure to global prices after spot levels fell 4 percent in April.
The Indian government, through CCI and NAFED, has bought 2.5-3.0 million bales of cotton in the current crop year to September 2013. Total production is around 34 million bales.
"We have started selling cotton from today and this would happen on a daily basis. We have displayed the sale quote taking CCI's price as the benchmark price," said a government source who did not wish to be named as he is not authorised to talk to the media.
The source said no decision has been taken on the quantity to be released on a daily basis but a total of 340,000 bales would be offloaded in a staggered manner. (Reporting by Meenakshi Sharma; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)