Except the eastern region of India, monsoon rainfall continued to stay in surplus, with improvement in geographic distribution, shows an analysis by Barclays based on Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) data. Reservoir storage levels are also rising steadily, reflecting surplus rainfall in week 9, starting from July 27.
Data showed that on a pan-India level, monsoon rainfall is now 6 percent above the long-period average (LPA, cumulative from June 1 to July 27). Cumulative rainfall, particularly, in the southern peninsular region is now in surplus. The eastern region remains the only one that continues to see deficient rain, with the deficit widening over the past week. Forbes India's Rain Watch series simplifies rainfall status, water reservoir levels and sowing pattern of kharif crops, using data analysis by Barclays.
IMD expects El Nino conditions to develop towards the middle of the monsoon, with global models projecting a possible peak through November 2023 to next January.
Even as reservoir levels have been inching up as the monsoon covered the entire country, the pace is slower compared to the same period last year. As of July 27, storage in key reservoirs stood at 48 percent of total capacity, higher than 39 percent last week. This translates to 85 percent of the available capacity in the year-earlier period and 111 percent of the 10-year average for this point in the season.
Also read: Rain Watch for July 20-26: Surplus monsoon, sowing of rice improves
With rainfall covering the central and southern regions more fully, states that are major kharif crop producers, like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana, are seeing improvement in sowing. Among crops, rice sowing, which was lagging earlier, is now above last year’s level. However, sowing of pulses (particularly arhar dal or pigeon peas) remains lower, though it is likely to improve as we enter the critical stage of the sowing season, says Barclays.
Sowing in coarse cereals and sugarcane is higher than last year, benefiting from rain in Rajasthan, which is a major producer of coarse cereal, and Uttar Pradesh of sugarcane.