Liu Xiaonan, deputy director of the economy and trade division at the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said that China’s cotton imports are likely to rise as it becomes more difficult to increase domestic supply, the Wall Street Journal reported. Liu’s remarks, made at a conference in Dalian, come despite a 12% year-on-year drop in cotton imports during the January-May period due to high international prices. Fang Yan, vice director of the rural economy division at the NDRC, notes that Beijing’s decision to prioritize grain production could constrain future domestic cotton growth – particularly in Xinjiang, which produces about 40% of the country’s cotton supply. “There has been a decline in the enthusiasm of the Xinjiang government to promote cotton planting. The situation is very worrisome,” she said.