Cotton subsidies for United States farmers are unfair to producers in Brazil, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled on Friday.

In its final report on an April trade case, the WTO upheld its preliminary ruling that US cotton subsidies caused artificially low international prices and were hurting Brazilian farmers.

"We are very satisfied and content," Brazilian foreign ministry economic official Clodoaldo Hugueney said of the decision.

"The document confirmed our expectations."

While the decision will have no immediate impact on US farm programs because of an appeal being filed by the United States government, it could prompt other developing countries to file new trade cases against subsidies for other crops.

"This ruling will attack the multibillion-dollar corporate welfare at the heart of global trade," Oxfam International spokeswoman Celine Charveriat said.

"It's a wake-up call for all rich countries to change the way they've mismanaged and manipulated world trade rules for years."

In its original complaint to the WTO, Brazil alleged that the United States had kept its place as the world's second-largest cotton grower and largest exporter because of $12.5 billion in government subsidies paid to American farmers between August 1999 and July 2003.