At 106% rainfall, IMD predicts above-normal monsoon in 2016

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The India Meteorological Department predicts the country’s monsoon rainfall will be 106% of long period average this year. The error margin is plus or minus 5%.

This should ease fears over farm and economic growth after two straight droughts hit rural incomes and agricultural output.

There is 94% chance of the rains to be normal or excess this year and just 6% chance of them being poor.

LPA is the average rainfall received by the country in the last 50 yrs starting from 1951 and is eastimated at 89 cms.

The forecast is very much in consensus with what Skymet said yesterday. IMD says monsoon will be more than normal in all the four months of June to Sept, but pace will pick up after the first half. IMD DG L S Rathore said that the monsoon this year will be fairly well distributed except northeast India and parts of Tamil Nadu and Rayalaseema.

IMD said that it will update its monsoon forecast in June. The monsoon rains could be above average, as the El Nino weather pattern, which can lead to dry spells in South Asia, is gradually fading and giving way to La Nina.

Above normal rain would ease the drinking water crisis engulfing several parts of the country and lift the farm sector, which has seen a drop in growth and a low in farmgate prices. A little more than half of India’s arable land relies on the June to September southwest monsoon for water. About 70 per cent of the total annual moisture in a year comes from this.

“I was expecting a lower monsoon forecast. However, this is just the first estimate and we need to see the second estimate, which will be closer to the monsoon time, for clarity on its impact on growth and inflation. I don’t expect any change in RBI’s policy stance based on this monsoon forecast as they have just lowered the interest rates and will wait the second round of forecast,” said Indranil Pan, chief economist, IDFC Bank.

“This year’s rainfall is crucial in bringing down prices of some commodities like pulses. Timely and well-spread rainfall can moderate imports of pulses and edible oils. It will also help in maintaining exports of rice, cotton and sugar,” said Vandana Bharti, associate vice president, SMC Global Securities.

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