UK supermarket giant Tesco is suffering from the recent restrictions placed on EU imports of Chinese goods, but will continue to rely on China as an increasingly important clothing supplier.

Tesco chief executive of UK clothing and international sourcing, John Hoerner, told a forum organised by the China Europe International Business School that the company had slashed its orders in China.

Hoerner reported that the company now bought half of what it would like to buy from China. "We have cut back and sourced a lot less", he was reported by Dow Jones as saying.

The restrictions will hamper Tesco's growth of its clothing business, he warned.

Hoerner also slated the EU's quotas system, which was introduced following a surge of Chinese clothing and textiles imports this year as global restrictions ended. He said they were "not only a bad idea but were badly handled", AFX reported.

The EU and China have agreed that Chinese import growth of ten textile types will be restricted to between 8 per cent and 12.5 per cent annually.

Tesco doesn't yet plan to establish a wholly owned business on the Chinese market, Hoerner added.

The company, which has seen continued success with clothing ranges including Cherokee and Florence and Fred, recently named high-street fashion mogul Terry Green as head of its apparel business.