Sunday, July 04, 2010

Saying stop your sericulture

Male silkworm moth, picture by Kevin Wanner, an entomologist at the University of Illinois.

China accounts for 70% of global silk production, but according to the Financial Times the price of silk has doubled since the start of 2009 and now stands at its highest level in more than 15 years. The China Cocoon and Silk Exchange said that the price of silk cocoons reached RMB92,700(US$13,570) per tonne in mid-April. Those poor little silkworms only eat mulberry leaves, and the breakneck urbanisation of the key silk-producing region around Shanghai has reduced available land for mulberry trees.

Output has declined 15% to 84,000 tonnes last year, and the drought that began in late 2009 has exacerbated a slide in production. Prices are forecast to rise further, but it's also suspected that Chinese investors are squeezing the market by hoarding silk in the hope of increasing demand and therefore price.

Lanvin green silk draped dress. What an amazing creature is the silkworm!


LottieP said...

If you're wondering where the title of this email comes from, it's a line from a Human League song, Being Boiled. In that slightly self-consciosuly portentous 1980s way, Phil Oakey sings: "Listen to the voice of Buddha/Saying stop youer sericulture".


i was just about to explain the title reference and scrolled down and you beat me to it. xx