As cotton prices soar, clothing prices followCotton prices have continued their meteoric rise, and now some major apparel companies are announcing price hikes to cope with the rising commodity costs.

The price of the commodity soared this week following aggressive buying by China and a disappointingly small yield from many major producers, including the United States and Pakistan. As a result, some clothing companies - including UK-based Next and jeans maker Levi Strauss - have already indicated that the price rise will be reflected in the cost of their merchandise, the Financial Times reports.

Although cotton prices are at their highest since 1996, historically, the commodity isn't doing so badly. Adjusted for inflation, today's cotton prices are a far off cry from history's all-time high of more than 400 cents per pound, set in 1973. Even so, the rise is hitting manufacturers hard.

"We're just seeing blow-offs here that nobody can imagine," Herman Kohlmeyer of broker firm Michael J. Nugent told the Times.

"China panics, then New York reacts to it the next day," added Peter Egli, risk manager at Plexus Cotton.

Cotton is just one of a number of important commodities whose prices have been on the rise. Others include coffee, corn and oil.
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