W Power 2024

Rain watch for Sept 7-13: Monsoon weak, crop yields uncertainty rises

Reservoir levels declined again with storage at 62 percent. Though kharif sowing is complete, lack of adequate rainfall for over a month may lead to uncertainty for crop yields, including sugarcane owing to deficient rainfall in major producer states like Maharashtra

Published: Sep 12, 2023 11:04:00 AM IST
Updated: Sep 12, 2023 11:41:34 AM IST

Rain watch for Sept 7-13: Monsoon weak, crop yields uncertainty risesMonsoon continued to remain weak in the second week of September as dry spells continued with rains below normal. Image: Sanjeev Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
 
Monsoon continued to remain weak in the second week of September as dry spells continued with rains below normal, leading to an increase in the pan-India rainfall deficit. Weakness in monsoon rainfall extended into September, with cumulative rainfall deficit (from June 1- September 10) at pan-India level at 10 percent long period average (LPA), shows an analysis by Barclays based on India Meteorological Department (IMD) data.  
 
Over the past week, rainfall in the northwest, central and eastern regions was largely deficient; however, the southern peninsula region received excess rainfall, particularly in the state of Telangana.  All four major regions are now facing deficit rainfall. 

Rain watch for Sept 7-13: Monsoon weak, crop yields uncertainty rises
 
According to Barclays, with IMD’s forecast for ‘below normal’ rainfall for most parts of the country in September (barring the eastern region), the rainfall deficit may not be reversed completely in the rest of the season. Earlier, IMD forecasts estimated monthly rainfall to be normal at 91-109 percent of LPA in September with above-normal rainfall in the east and Northeast, but likely below-normal rainfall for the rest of the country.

Rain watch for Sept 7-13: Monsoon weak, crop yields uncertainty rises
 
Reservoir levels declined again with inadequate rainfall. As of September 6, storage in key reservoirs stood at 62 percent compared to 63 percent in the previous week. This is also lower than last year’s level at this stage of the monsoon season which was at 74 percent of available capacity and lower than the historical average for this point in the season. 

Also read: Rain watch for Aug 31-Sept 6: El Nino risk rises, dry spells continue
 
Current reservoir levels are 84 percent of the 10-year average. The drop in reservoir levels is now a material concern for the rabi winter crop, and may also spark fears of water rationing going into the festive season.

Rain watch for Sept 7-13: Monsoon weak, crop yields uncertainty rises
 
Across the regions, the reservoir levels this year have been far lower than last year’s levels: Northern region (82 percent versus 87 percent last year), Central (71 percent versus 81 percent last year), Western (71 percent versus 89 percent) and Eastern region (45 percent versus 62 percent) and Southern region (48 percent against 91 percent).
 
Kharif sowing is complete, but lack of adequate rainfall for more than a month may lead to uncertainty for crop yields. Apart from soybeans and pulses, the yield of irrigation-intensive sugarcane also could be threatened, particularly owing to deficient rainfall in major producer states like Maharashtra, says Barclays. 

Rain watch for Sept 7-13: Monsoon weak, crop yields uncertainty rises
 
Area sown with sugarcane as of September 8 is higher than last year and compared with the historically normal area. Low rainfall and likely intensification of El Niño phenomenon towards the end of the year poses a risk to the food inflation trajectory, considering already elevated inflation in pulses and cereals. Still, elevated rice sowing may mitigate some of these risks, especially given the export restrictions already in place.
 
Overall total kharif sowing as of September 8 stands at the same level as last year levels at 1088.5 lakh hectare. Sowing of coarse cereals has improved by 0.5 percent supported by higher sowing of maize (2.9 percent) and bajra (0.5 percent). 

Rain watch for Sept 7-13: Monsoon weak, crop yields uncertainty rises
 
Acreage of pulses is still lagging behind by 8.6 percent led by lower sowing area of arhar and urad. Additionally, sowing area of cotton has declined by 1.5 percent compared to last year levels. Even area sown for oilseeds is down by 0.9 percent.  
 
Forbes India presents a weekly series Rain Watch where we simplify rainfall status, water reservoir levels and sowing pattern of kharif crops data analysis by Barclays.  

Post Your Comment
Required
Required, will not be published
All comments are moderated