Monsoon normal in week to 9 June

Monsoon normal in week to 9 June

New Delhi: Monsoon delivered normal rainfall in the past week, weather office said on Thursday, boosting prospects of higher farm output and lower inflation in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Rainfall in the seven days to 9 June recovered to normal after an initial hiccup when cyclone Phet hindered the advance of the June-September monsoon, which irrigates 60% of farms in the world’s leading consumer and producer of edible oils, sugar, wheat, rice and cotton.

The weather office has predicted normal rainfall this year, raising prospects of lower inflation and a rebound in farm output that suffered after the 2009 monsoon turned out to be the worst since 1972 despite initial forecasts of a normal season.

The India Meteorological Department will update its forecast by the end of this month.

The monsoon had hit southern coast on 31 May, a day ahead of its usual date.

Normal monsoon rainfall would encourage government to allow export of wheat and normal grades of rice, which were banned in recent years because of tight supplies.

It is also expected to lower inflation rate, which has been close to 10% in recent months, and make it easier for the government to ease controls on fuel prices.

The government aims to allow market pricing for petrol and diesel, but some allies of the federal coalition are opposing the move fearing that higher energy rates would anger voters.