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Indian Monsoon low by 9% : IMD

Cotton growing Gujarat has so far received 27 percent less rainfall than normal, while rice growing West Bengal, Jharkhand and Bihar in eastern India saw it drop by as much as 25 percent below average, IMD data shows.

India, the world’s biggest producer of cotton and pulses and the second-biggest producer of sugar and rice, has had 777.4 mm of rainfall since the start of the monsoon season on June 1, nearly 9 percent lower than normal, data compiled by India Meteorological Department (IMD) shows.

India’s monsoon has produced 9 percent less rain than usual, raising concerns over production of the country’s summer-sown crops as rainfall in many key grains producing states has been nearly a quarter lower than normal levels.

The country’s cotton production could fall below 35 million bales in 2018/19 marketing year, starting from Oct. 1, compared with 36.5 million bales a year ago, said Chirag Patel, chief executive at Jaydeep Cotton Fibres Pvt Ltd, a leading exporter.

Lower rainfall in September could reduce soil moisture, hurting the planting of winter-sown crops such as wheat, chickpea and rapeseed, said a Mumbai-based dealer with a global trading firm.

“We have ample stocks from last year’s crop. So it won’t impact exports,” the rice exporter said. India is the world’s biggest rice exporter.

The monsoon delivers 70 percent of India’s annual rainfall and is the lifeblood of India’s $2 trillion economy with the farm sector contributing 14 percent of its economic output.

Nearly half of Indian farmland lacks irrigation, making the monsoon critical for 263 million farmers who grow rice, sugarcane, corn, cotton and soybean.

The drop in rainfall could moderate demand from rural areas for an array of goods – from two wheelers to refrigerators – and lift food prices and stoke inflation, which is expected to harden in coming months due to higher fuel prices. 

Scant rainfall in eastern India and floods in the southern state of Kerala and some northern pockets are set to trim rice production, said an exporter based at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh.

As many as 774 people have died in incidents related to floods and rains in seven states during the 2018 monsoon season so far, informed the Home Ministry. This figure is inclusive of 187 people have lost their lives in Kerala, 171 in Uttar Pradesh, 170 in West Bengal and 139 in Maharashtra due to the floods and rains

“Rainfall distribution was uneven. Yields of crops such as cotton and rice are likely to be lower than normal,” Harish Galipelli, head of commodities and currencies at Inditrade Derivatives & Commodities in Mumbai, said.

Input feed : Syndicate agency 

Splco News Correspondent
News analysis wing of Splco Media a bilingual (English & Tamil) novel social media channel.
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