The decline has been so sharp that the price of cotton is now at its lowest level since late 2009, when the global economy was still in the early stages of emerging from the frightening financial crisis the year before.
Prices have fallen to about 67 cents (U.S.) a pound in New York, down from a record high of nearly $2.20 a pound in March, 2011. That’s nearly a 70 per cent slide, and makes crude oil‘s recent troubles look comparatively tame.
Cheaper cotton is good news for companies that make and sell clothing because the cheaper input costs can translate into fatter profit margins. J. Crew Group Inc.‘s chief financial officer seemed to be breathing a sigh of relief when he said on a conference call in late May that “the commodity pressures that we’re seeing in cotton are beginning to ease.”