New Delhi: India’s monsoon rains were 9.0% below normal in the week to 15 June, the weather office said on Thursday, with rice and cotton growing regions in the south and east suffering the lowest rainfall.
The June-September monsoon is in the early stages and crops are not greatly affected by the quantity of rains now. What is key is the distribution of rainfall in mid-July after the monsoon covers the entire country.
Last year, which saw a normal monsoon, the rainfall was below normal in the week ending 16 June.
In the previous week this year, the monsoon was 16% above average with heavy rains in the tea, rubber, coffee and corn growing areas of southern India, and rice, cane and cotton areas in the west.
The monsoon, vital for farm output in India’s trillion-dollar economy, hit the country’s southern coast on 29 May this year, three days ahead of schedule.
It is expected to enter soybean growing areas of central India this weekend, sources at the weather office said.
They said the monsoon’s progress over central India was three days behind schedule.
India’s Meteorological Department is expected to release its outlook for the rest of the monsoon season early next week.