Cotton Prices Hit 140-Year High…

Friday, October 15, 2010
By Paul Martin

Flashback to 1870 as Cotton Hits Peak

By ADAM CANCRYN and CAROLYN CUI
WSJ.com
OCTOBER 16, 2010

Cotton prices touched their highest level since Reconstruction on Friday, as a string of bad harvests and demand from China spark worries of a global shortfall.

The sudden surge in prices—cotton has risen up to 56% in three months—has alarmed manufacturers and retailers, who worry they may be forced to pass on higher costs to recession-weary consumers.

The December cotton contract hit $1.1980 a pound minutes after the opening of trading on the IntercontinentalExchange Inc. on Friday. It is officially the highest price since records began back in 1870 with the creation of the New York Cotton Exchange.

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