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Cotton struggles squeeze Asian garment makers, threatens Covid recovery

A near doubling in benchmark cotton futures to 11-year highs, hard on the heels of a spike in freight and fuel prices, is clobbering Asian apparel makers, while their global retail customers are reluctant to soak up the extra costs. Losses have mounted for garment makers in Asia among the region’s top employers, with some smaller units suspending operations, rendering thousands jobless, undermining a recovery from the pandemic and posing a fresh challenge for policymakers already battling