India’s rain fed agricultural sector is expected to get more than normal monsoon this year after two straight seasons of deficient rains that affected rural income and cringed demand for consumer goods.
The Indian Meteorological Department in the first of its biannual forecast of the critical southwest monsoon said the rainfall is likely to be 106 per cent of the long period average with a margin of error of 5 per cent.
Although the monsoon was widely expected to be normal this year, there were some concerns of El Nino, a global weather phenomenon that affects farm output in India, continuing in the early part of 2016.
El Nino was the strongest in 2015 since 1997 and had affected crop production for the second consecutive year. In the Economic Survey released in February, the government had noted that some of the strongest El Nino years were followed by La Nina episodes, resulting in bumper harvests.
The normal monsoon makes for good news for consumer goods makers, several of whom depend on rural buyers. Motorcycle makers and FMCG firms, for instance, have been facing tough demand in the recent past due to the impact on rural income from poor monsoons.
IMD will issue an update in June as a part of the second stage forecast. Along with the update forecast, separate forecasts for the monthly (July and August) rainfall over the country as a whole and seasonal (June-September) rainfall over the four geographical regions of India will also be issued.