“US farmers – the world’s largest exporters of the fibre – have signalled they will sow the smallest acreage since 1983 as cotton prices remain low compared with other competing crops, particularly soyabean. But some traders questioned whether lower planting would be enough to offset sharply falling consumption. ..The US department of agriculture forecast 2008-09 cotton demand will drop by 10.5 per cent, the largest annual percentage decline since records began in 1920. “Cotton consumption shows no sign of recovering, given the weak global economic outlook and the resulting low demand for textiles,” it said in a recent report…In afternoon trading in New York, ICE May cotton rose 0.5 per cent to 53.08 per pound, the highest since mid-October. The July contract gained 0.6 per cent to 53.65 cents per pound. Mr Stevens added that some fundamentals were, however, supporting the price, particularly hopes that companies may start to rebuild inventories and concerns about dryness in the West Texas cotton patch, where several million acres do not have irrigation….