Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

shares lost ground Wednesday after media reports indicated that China is unlikely to make additional aircraft purchases next year.

Boeing stock was down $1.20, or 2.3%, at $52.05 Wednesday afternoon, after losing as much as 2.8%.

Earlier, media reports quoted Yang Yuanyuan, director of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China, saying the government was already satisfied by existing plane orders.

"Chinese airlines have already bought and arranged to be shipped next year a total of 147 planes," Yang said. "This basically suits the needs of the market's growth."

A slowdown in airplane orders would be a blow to Boeing and to archrival Airbus, which are hoping to sell more planes to China's rapidly growing airlines.

The Chinese government is working to cool somewhat the pace of economic growth in the country. Yang's remarks about aircraft orders may also be linked to safety concerns. China's official Xinhua news agency reported that Yang said safety supervision will be the top priority for his administration next year, as potentially dangerous problems remain within the system. Yang was speaking at a two-day conference in Beijing.

Boeing could not be reached for comment.