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Living cost mounts in China as cotton, food prices surge

11-11-2010 14:00 BJT

JINAN, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- A resident named Cao Xinru found her monthly salary allowed her to only purchase two cotton-padded coats this winter when she was shopping over the weekend in east China's Shandong Province.

"I feel the prices of clothes have risen a lot this year, especially the cotton-padded coats," said Cao, an employee of an advertising company in Jinan, capital of Shandong Province, who has a monthly salary of 3,000 yuan (about 451 U.S. dollars), when she wanted to buy coats for this winter.

Not only the clothes, but also other textile products had become more expensive, said Yu Hui, textile department manager of Yinzuo Shopping Plaza, one of the largest shopping centers in Jinan.

Also, prices of towels, underwear and beddings increased in varying degrees, Yu said.

The price increases are not only happening in Shandong, but also throughout the country.

In Hohhot, capital of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the price of cotton-padded coats rose 20 to 30 percent compared to last year.

"I used to sell six or seven pieces a day last year, but almost none this year," said Ren Min, a clothes dealer in Hohhot.

"Customers thought it was me who raised the price, but actually I just follow the price rises from my sources," she said.

The price increase was considered to be caused by the rising price of cotton since the end of 2009, which has impacted many Chinese enterprises.

According to the latest statistics posted on the website "", the cotton price has climbed from about 18,000 yuan to 28,500 yuan per tonne since September 1.

Dezhou City in Shandong, 300 kilometers from Beijing, is one of the major cotton production locations in China. "The prices of unginned cotton had been climbing from last September's six yuan to May's 8.3 yuan per kilogramme, breaking the historical record of 7.2 yuan in 2003," said Ma Junkai, deputy general secretary of Dezhou municipal Cotton Association.

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