Beijing, Jan 12 (Agencies): Cotton imports in China rose to 461,700 tonnes in December, an increase of 113 per cent from the previous year, an industry website said on Wednesday.

Citing the customs data, the report suggests that the increase in imports last month was 266 per cent from November.

The country imported a total of 2.84 million tonnes of cotton last year.

“The surge was prompted by industry’s expectations that cotton prices will rise after the Lunar New Year, which will fall in early February,” said Guo Weile, an analyst with the website.

''US cotton prices were comparatively lower in December, while Chinese importers need to use up the 2010 import quota, which expires after Dec. 31,'' he added.