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Indian Monsoon Update

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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The Indian monsoon coverage as of the end of June surely left some doubts, although today's reports indicate that the first few days of July has brought beneficial rains over much of the country.

As of June 29, the 2016 monsoon coverage across the country was reported to be 12% behind normal, as indicated by India's Meteorological Department. Of the 36 subdivisions reported on, seven were reported to have received excess moisture (more than 20% of average), 17% had received normal precipitation (19% more or less than normal), 10 had received deficient moisture (20% to 59% below normal) and two had received scanty amounts (60% to 99% below normal) in the June 1 through June 29 period. The overall reported departure was 12% behind normal, tough to swallow for affected producers when the government is forecasting overall precipitation to exceed average this summer.

July 1 planting progress reported by India's government showed planting progress for the kharif, or summer crop, at 8.736 million acres for all crops, 22.7% behind the previous year's pace. This pace has quickened only slightly in the past week. The pace of planting for both oilseeds and pulse crops are facing the slowest pace relative to last year, with oilseed planting 47% behind 2015 while pulse planting is 10.8% behind last year.

Rainfall over the first few days of July may be supportive of the government forecast for the 2016 monsoon seasonal. DTN Holiday Weekend Weather and Crop Report indicates improving rains for the north and central Interior areas of the country, although point to ongoing concern for the two regions in the central western side of the country classed as having received scanty moisture to the end of June.

The reports an average of 33.2 mm of precipitation on average across the country between July 1 and today, well above normal for this period, while the overall monsoon deficit has been reduced to only 6% as of Sunday, July 3. India's Meteorological Department is calling for monsoon rains to be 107% of the long-term average for the month of July, while expecting good rainfall for both August and September to follow.

Just days ago, it was reported that the start of the 2016 monsoon season was 13 days late and indicated the delay to be the largest in ten years.

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