New Delhi: India’s monsoon rains were 64% below normal in the past seven days, dipping for the second straight week at a crucial period for oilseeds and sugarcane, and raising concerns of rising food prices.
Last week’s rainfall was the worst since mid-June, while total rainfall since the start of season on 1 June was a quarter below average, the India Meteorological Department said on Thursday.
The soybean-producing central part of India remained parched, getting barely 1% of the normal rainfall, putting the crop at risk if the dry patch continues another week.
Weather officials said central India may get good rains soon.
“Increase in rainfall activity is likely in central and adjoining northern plains in 2-3 days,” said one official, who did not wish to be named.
The June-September rains are the main source of irrigation for farms and are crucial for Asia’s third-largest economy.
The weather department said only seven of India’s 36 weather zones received normal rains during the week to 5 August.
Graphics by Sandeep Bhatnagar / Mint