Cotton Prices Go Through Roof – UPDATE (again) by Scott Fresener


This article keeps getting deeper and deeper.  It has been updated three times now as cotton prices continue to soar and everyone is raising prices. Here are thre more excellent articles on this topic. Check out, ASI’s Supplier Global Resource Newsletter and a Printwear Magazine article on this topic.

And, read how one large Arizona based screen printer stockpiled $300,000 worth of blank T-Shirts to hedge against future price increases here.

On November 4, 2010 both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today had articles about this.

Here is an excerpt from the Alpha-Broder Letter:

October 25, 2010

Dear Valued Customer,
Due to recent price increases from our mills, Alpha, Broder and NES will implement new pricing on mill T-shirts, sport shirts, fleece and all other apparel categories. T-shirt price increases will generally range from 4-6%. Sport shirt, fleece and other apparel category pricing will increase up to 10%. New pricing will go into effect on Monday, November 1, 2010. Retail and private label brands will not be part of this price increase.

At Alpha, Broder and NES, we always value your business and thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions, please call customer service or e-mail a member of your sales support team.

Here is an excerpt of a letter from a very large southwest distributor McCreary’s Tees:

October 22, 2010

Our Valued Customers,

Yesterday we began to receive notifications from our suppliers of coming prices increases with some going into effect to us as early at today. While we have yet to determine the timing and exactly where our prices will need to go due to these increased costs, it is certain we will need to adjust our prices again. The pricing action will affect tees, sport shirts and fleece by a significant amount.

The price of cotton has continued to soar to record levels worldwide with the price per pound exceeded only by the all time highs seen during the Civil War. The price of cotton has increased 80% during this past year alone and these price increases are a direct reflection of these rising costs.

Here is my original article about the price of cotton written on September 15, 2010.

Bad news about cotton price increases that may have a huge effect on the price of shirts. Cotton prices have broken through the $1 (US) per pound price level for only the second time in history. This is bringing fears there could be a cotton shortage and higher prices for all things cotton – including our product – T-Shirts.

Cotton prices have risen 36% over the last 2 months. Experts say this is caused by the devastating floods in Pakistan and China and the shift to more profitable crops from traditional cotton farmers.

Two of the worlds biggest T-shirt companies, Fruit of  the Loom and Gildan, are being forced to make yet more price increases only two months after increasing their prices by between 5 and 10%.  In October both companies are expected to increase their prices by another 5% with more hikes to come.

Read more about this story at a number of online sources or simply type in a web search looking for “cotton prices.” This one is worth watching.

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