Tue Jan 7, 2014 02:51 PM CST

NEW ORLEANS (Dow Jones) -- China is likely to stop buying cotton for its reserves by August, an executive with a California cotton-marketing cooperative said Tuesday.

That means imports in China will be "down rather severely" in the next season, said Jarral Neeper, president of Calcot Ltd. in Bakersfield, Calif., at the National Cotton Council of America's Beltwide Cotton Conference.

Neeper projected the country's cotton imports could drop 45% to six million bales during the 2014-15 season, which begins Aug. 1.

China quintupled the size of its cotton stockpile over the last two years, aiming to ensure a steady supply ...

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