Global cotton consumption will exceed the season’s new supply of cotton for the second straight year, according to the latest USDA forecast for 2008-09.

The expected 8 million-bale deficit would be the largest such shortfall since 1993-94.

Global cotton mill use is projected by USDA to rise only slightly in 2008-09, as world GDP growth slows through calendar 2009.

New supplies, however, are expected to decline 4.5 million bales to 117.9 million in 2008-09, widening the gap with consumption forecast at 125.9 million bales.

The global reduction in new supplies is due primarily to the United States, where a more than 5 million-bale drop in production is forecast for 2008-09.

In China, cotton consumption continues to exceed new supplies, with a gap of 15.5 million bales projected for 2008-09, compared with an estimated 14.2 million in 2007-08.