Wetter September to Cut India’s Rain Deficit and Ease Inflation
(Bloomberg) -- India will likely see heavier rainfall in September after a two-month shortfall, a prospect that will aid crops and ease concern about inflation.
Precipitation in September, the last month of the rainy season, is expected to be more than 110% of the 50-year average, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director general of the India Meteorological Department, said at an online briefing Wednesday. The monsoon had a good start in June, but rains faltered in the crucial sowing months of July and August.
India receives as much as 90% of its total annual rainfall during the four-month period. Sufficient rain in the country, the world’s second-largest producer of rice, wheat and sugar, means farmers will have enough water to irrigate crops. It can also prevent drinking-water shortages, help reduce imports of commodities like edible oils, and keep food prices in check.
Still, rains for the entire season are likely to be at the lower end of the normal range, Mohapatra said. A monsoon season is considered normal when rains recorded are between 96% and 104% of the 50-year average. The weather bureau earlier predicted that it will be 101% of the long-term average. Private forecaster Skymet now expects it to be below normal.
Other main points from the briefing:
- Showers in June were 10% more than normal; July showers -7%; August -24%
- Above-normal to normal rain likely in central parts of the country this month
- Normal to below-normal showers expected in northwest, northeast and southern regions
- Prevailing neutral ENSO conditions will likely to continue
- However, sea surface temperatures over central and east equatorial Pacific Ocean will likely cool; there is an increased possibility of re-emergence of La Nina conditions toward the end of September or thereafter
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