Daily Sabah (Turkey)

Rocketing energy, transport costs send textiles up amid London Fashion Week


TEXTILE prices, like many raw materials, are soaring on resurgent post-pandemic demand and the rocketing cost of both energy and transport, industry experts say.

Cotton, linen, silk and wool, as well as synthetic materials derived from petroleum, faced surging prices in recent months, boosted also by the global supply-chain crunch.

As a result, red-hot inflation is now a major talking point at the industry’s London Fashion Week showpiece, which runs until Thursday.

Price hikes represent a new challenge for the industry that has already been stricken by both Brexit and the COVID-19 health emergency.


“The textile and clothing industry noticed an impressive surge in cotton prices,” said the European associatio­n of textile producers, Euratex, in a statement sent to Agence-France Presse (AFP). “The restart of activity worldwide in 2021 and the increased demand from the textile industry have accelerate­d the mechanism of (market) tension on raw materials,” it added.

“This has resulted in a shortage, and rising material costs.”

Cotton, which had already surged almost 50% last year, peaked earlier this month at $1.29 per pound – reaching a level last seen in 2011. Organic cotton from key producer India has experience­d buoyant demand due to low stockpiles.

The cost of wool and flax linen meanwhile rebounded between September 2020 and June 2021, having declined for almost three years.


The industry has also been spooked by the sky-high cost of oil.

“The increase in oil prices have affected the prices of synthetic fibers ... as these are produced from petroleumb­ased chemicals or petrochemi­cals,” Euratex noted.

Oil had threatened to top $100 a barrel last week on simmering tensions between Ukraine and key crude producer Russia.

“The ongoing upswing in oil prices is lending buoyancy because it increases the price of synthetic fibers that compete with cotton,” added Commerzban­k analyst Carsten Fritsch.

The price of man-made or synthetic fibers – like acrylics, nylon and polyester – have shot up.

Textiles also face the same snarledup supply chains that have plagued economies worldwide.

Retailers and manufactur­ers will therefore struggle to meet rebounding demand, particular­ly for cotton, commentato­rs say.


“Demand is strong amid inflation concerns and logistical issues that make it harder for world buyers to source any cotton anywhere,” Price Group analyst Jack Scoville told AFP.

Importers and exporters face a huge spike in transport costs, as reopening economies create feverish demand for container shipping.

Rogie Sussman Faber, owner of Chicago area company Vogue Fabrics, told AFP that transporta­tion was their biggest issue.

“Here in the U.S., we are more affected by the sharp rise in shipping than the price of the materials,” Faber said.

Onward transport from the port of Chicago compounds that heavy burden, mirroring transit problems seen elsewhere. “Since the onset of COVID-19, we have experience­d a decline in truckers, and the transit companies have raised their prices to cover fuel costs and overtime (and) bonus incentives,” noted Faber.

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