THE WORLD Trade Organisation has confirmed two recent landmark rulings about the illegal nature of EU and US agricultural subsidies, the Financial Times reports.

The rulings concerned US cotton subsidies and EU sugar support, both of which were found to contravene international trade rules.

In the sugar case, the panel that last month ruled against the EU sugar regime, has confirmed its finding that EU sugar exports have been subsidised at more than twice the level permitted.

Both the EU and the US have signalled that they will appeal against the rulings. This will delay any definitive verdicts until early next year.

If the appeals prove unsuccessful, the WTO rulings are expected to reinforce pressure from developing countries for reforms of the EU and US subsidy regimes.