India’s August monsoon rains 3.4 percent above average, weather department says

Story by Reuters

Mumbai, India – India received 3.4 percent more rainfall than average in August as heavy rains hit central and southern parts of the country, the state-run weather office said on Wednesday.

The monsoon, which accounts for about 75 percent of India’s annual rainfall, is vital as nearly half of the country’s farmland doesn’t have irrigation.

In August, soybean and cotton growing regions received heavy rainfall, although rice growing regions in the northeast saw lower rainfall, according to data compiled by the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD).

India is the world’s biggest exporter of rice, a staple for Asia, and monsoon rains determine the size of the country’s rice crop.

Good output would help India maintain its preeminent position in the global rice market, but a prolonged spell of lower or uneven rains could hit the crop.

India is considering whether to restrict exports of 100 percent broken rice, government and industry officials told Reuters on Friday, after the paddy area was reduced by a lack of rainfall.

In the first three months of the June-September monsoon season India saw 6 percent more rainfall than average as the country received 16.8 percent more rainfall in July, which wiped out June’s deficit of 8 percent.

The IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 centimeters (35 inches) for the season.

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