Silk ties and handkerchiefs are forecast to rise in price after the cost of silk jumped to its highest level in at least fifteen years as rapid industrialisation in China, the world's largest supplier, robs the sector of valuable farm land.
The price of silk cocoons, the raw material for the fabric used in expensive items of clothing, has doubled since the start of 2009 to 92,700Rmb ($13,577) a tonne in mid-April, according to the China Cocoon and Silk Exchange.
根据中国茧丝绸交易市场(China Cocoon and Silk Exchange)的数据，蚕茧（贵重衣物所用的面料的原材料）价格自2009年初以来已经翻倍，至4月中旬涨至每吨9.27万元人民币（合1.3577万美元）。
European merchants and weavers said the price of raw silk, the variety traded internationally, had followed a similar trend. “It is rising every day, every week,” said Christian Morel Journel, a silk merchant in Lyon, France.
欧洲贸易商人和编织业者表示，国际贸易中的生丝价格出现了类似走势。“每天、每周都在涨价，”法国里昂的丝绸商人克里斯蒂安·莫雷尔·耶内尔(Christian Morel Journel)表示。
The urbanisation of the key silk-growing region around Shanghai has reduced the land available for mulberry trees, whose leaves are the only thing silk worms eat.
“It's as if you had a very large city in Champagne on the soil of the famous wine,” Mr Morel Journel bemoaned.
Chinese output fell 15 per cent to 84,000 tonnes last year, according to the International Sericultural Commission, and a drought that began in late 2009 has further reduced production. China accounts for 70 per cent of global silk production.
据国际蚕业委员会(International Sericultural Commission)介绍，中国去年的产出下跌15%，至8.4万吨，而2009年末开始的干旱，已进一步降低了产量。中国占全球生丝产量的70%。
The rally coincides with a surge in the cost of other natural fibres: coarse wool, used for carpets, has soared to the highest level since 1980, while cotton is near a 14-year high.
Silk accounts for a small part of the final price of fine clothing. But David Tooth, chairman of Vanners, a 270-year-old silk weaver in Suffolk, England, which supplies brands such as Burberry and Ralph Lauren, expects retail prices to rise 10-20 per cent in the near term.
生丝在高级丝绸衣物的最终价格中只占一小部分。但在英格兰萨福克郡，有270年历史、向巴宝莉(Burberry)和拉夫·劳伦(Ralph Lauren)等品牌供货的丝绸编织商Vanners董事长戴维·涂斯(David Tooth)预期，零售价格将在近期内上涨10%-20%。
Demand of silk has sagged in modern times with the arrival of artificial fibres, which are cheaper and easier to clean.
The drop in supply has coincided with an increase in demand that has squeezed the market.
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