India’s Southwest Monsoon, which lasts from July to September, brought below-normal levels of rain in some parts of the country that is expected to hurt yields and production volumes of crops such as pulses and coarse cereals. The Indian Meteorological Department reports that the cumulative rainfall for the season was 9 percent lower than the 50-year average, and 4 percent below last year’s levels. The monsoon, which was characterized by erratic rains and long dry spells, caused drought- or near-drought-like conditions in some regions and led to the emergence of various pests. First advance estimates are for 2018/19 production of pulses of 9.22 million tonnes, down 0.12 million tonne from last year, and for production of coarse cereals of 33.13 million tonnes, down 0.76 million tonnes.Some states, such as Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, declared 29 districts as drought hit. Crop-failure rates were as high as 70 percent in Rajasthan's Jodhpur district.
However, roughly half of India’s growing regions received normal levels of rainfall, raising estimates for rice and oilseeds production in those areas. The meteorological department forecasts that the coming Northeast Monsoon, which runs from October through December, will bring normal rainfall of between 89 percent and 111 percent of the long-term average over the Southern Peninsula, and above-normal rainfall, over 112 percent, for the state of Tamil Nadu. The department also forecasts heavy rains in the states of Karnataka and Kerala. Gro Intelligence users can monitor precipitation and crop-acreage changes as India’s monsoon season advances.
The chart on the left shows low precipitation quantities (less than 100mm) in the northern parts of India, and over 100 mm of rainfall in the Southern Peninsula. On the right, production quantity estimates of cereals have been particularly impacted by the low rainfall.