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NEW YORK: ICE cotton futures fell from a more than seven-month peak on Thursday as lower US export sales of the fibre offset support from crop damage fears due to Hurricane Delta, while investors awaited a monthly federal supply demand report due on Friday.

Cotton contracts for December fell 0.35 cent, or 0.5%, to 67.24 cents per lb by 1:05 p.m. EDT (1705 GMT), having hit its highest since Feb. 24 at 68.29.

"We got below average (export sales) and that's one of the reasons why the trade got blunted. ... China celebrated Golden Week last week and their participation was quite limited," said Keith Brown, principal at cotton brokers Keith Brown and Co in Georgia.

In its weekly export sales report, the US Department of Agriculture reported net sales of 178,400 running bales (RB) for 2020/21, down 27% from the prior 4-week average.

The report also showed that exports of 142,300 RB were down 38% from the prior 4-week average. Despite a slight dip in prices on Thursday, cotton prices are up more than 2% so far this week, which could be its best in seven.

Fears of crop damage from Hurricane Delta, which is expected to make landfall this weekend and hit some cotton growing areas, along with anticipation of a reduction in the supply demand estimates in Friday's report supported prices, Brown added. Market participants are awaiting the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, due on Friday.

For extreme east Texas into northern Louisiana, southern Arkansas and western Mississippi, Category Two Hurricane Delta is expected to produce 3 to 6 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 10 inches, the US National Hurricane Center said.