Cotton planting in China has dropped by 10% in major growing regions as labour costs increased, cutting profits, according to reports.

The Yangtze River and Yellow River areas, which account for more than 60% of the country's output saw the largest declines, Bloomberg said.

Planting in China may drop by 9.2% in 2012 as high costs and falling prices have cut its appeal, China Cotton Association vice president Gao Fang told Bloomberg. The government has said it will continue to buy new crop cotton at above-market prices to boost planting.

It will continue to stockpile locally produced cotton to stem the decline in prices and protect farmer interests. It will buy new crop cotton at CNY2,400 a ton.