Rising cotton prices are set to hit profit margins of textile and apparel players in India due to their inability to pass on the high production cost on to consumers as seasonal demand is weak, according to a report. Cotton, the key raw material for textile and apparel production, has become costlier by 6 per cent in March alone due to lower output last year, according to the report. The benchmark variety of cotton jumped to Rs. 12,373 a quintal from Rs. 11,698 a quintal in the beginning of the month. Experts believe the natural fibre will continue to move northward.