India’s monsoon rainfall, which accounts for 70 percent of the nation’s total rains, was 29 percent below normal in June, the weather office said.
The country received 115.5 millimeters (4.55 inches) of rain last month, the India Meteorological Department said on its website. That’s less than the 163.5 millimeters average considered normal for the period, it said.
Showers in June, which account for 18 percent of season’s total, have been the least since 2009 when they were 47.2 percent below a 50-year average, according to the weather office. Rains were 12.2 percent more than the average in June last year while falls were 15.6 percent below normal in the same month in 2010.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is counting on good rains to boost growth in farm output, which accounts for about 15 percent of gross domestic product, to curb higher inflation.
Rains made a slow start this year, reaching the southern state of Kerala four days later than the normal June 1. Sowing of summer crops such as rice and oilseeds has been delayed after rain was either late or less than adequate in the main growing regions.
Monsoon rainfall during the June-September season will be normal for the third year, the weather office said on June 22. Rainfall will be 96 percent of the average during the four months, it said. That compares with 99 percent predicted by it in April.
To contact the reporters on this story: Swansy Afonso in Mumbai at email@example.com; Ruth David in Mumbai at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Poole at email@example.com