Cotton prices have hit a record high after cold weather threatened to damage the crop in China.

The price of cotton rose 4.2% to $1.24 (79p) per pound in New York yesterday.

Chinese weather forecasters are predicting that the cold weather will last for at least another day, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph. The increase in the cost of cotton comes after prices reached a record high on October 15 after hail storms hit Texas – the biggest cotton grower in the US.

Retailers such as Next have warned recently that the rise in cotton prices is likely to mean that prices in stores will have to increase.

Next chief executive Simon Wolfson said that the company was experiencing “significant product cost price pressure” with the prices of cotton up 45 on last year and that selling prices would rise between 5% and 8%.