China's Ministry of Finance is to temporarily reduce import taxes on 26 commodities, including cotton and food items, in an attempt to relieve pressure on rising prices.

According to state media, between 5 June and 5 October, taxes on high-quality cotton imports will be cut to CNY357 (US$51.4) per tonne from CNY570.

The government claims the move is designed to alleviate cotton shortages before the new season's crop is available, but it will also help control rising domestic prices.