By  on July 14, 2014

China is unwinding its massive stockpiles of cotton and readying to implement direct-farmer subsidies, potentially depressing global prices of the raw material.

The dramatic downward price swing already under way and the possible impact throughout the supply chain brings to mind the chilling spring of 2011, when natural disasters from flooding in India to a drought in Texas provided the catalyst for cotton reaching historic highs that exceeded $2 a pound. The ensuing panic forced companies to seek out alternative fibers and fabrics, brought about a new era of cotton blends and a boost to New Age polyesters and fibers such as Tencel and flax.

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