If you think cotton shirts, dresses, and bedding sheets are now priced out of site, take a look at the price of cotton work gloves which have experienced in many cases up to an 80% increase over the past year and a half. Unlike the leather shortage, which occurred prior to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, partially due to the closure of tanneries due to pollution and the effect it would have on the athletes, cotton prices are largely being effected by the weather. Flooding in Pakistan, one of the largest producers of cotton next to India, destroyed a substantial amount of their cotton harvest. At the same time, China has been trying to replenish their cotton reserves at any price due to the fact that they have experienced record consumption in the past year.
AllSafetySupplies.com has done a great job holding their pricing on work gloves during the leather shortages on their leather palm work gloves to their leather drivers gloves. Now faced with the same issues of price increases from importers and manufacturers they have once again lowered their margins to hold stability in pricing to their customer base.
See Article Posted by Wall Street Journal January 29, 2011 >> WSJ-Cotton Hoarding