July is a critical month for the monsoon as this is the time when all cropping decisions are taken and shortage of rainfall can lead to switch of crops. July accounts for about 30-35% of total rainfall in the season and August around 20-25%. As the monsoon is progressing positively, the impact should be felt on the cropping pattern too as the season goes by, says Care Ratings.
Information available till June end suggests that the monsoon on a cumulative basis was excess/normal in 24 and deficient/scanty in 12 out of 36 meteorological sub-divisions. Actual rainfall was 137.6 mm, which is less than the Normal of 155.5 mm by -12%. However, according to IMD, there has been improvement in the first week of July where the country received 218.2 mm of rainfall compared with normal of 215.3 mm, which is 1% more than the normal till July 6th.
Table 1 provides information on rainfall received in India for first month of the season in all regions, which are divided into 36 meteorological zones by the IMD for the period June 1-June 29, which is the latest period on which data is available on a disaggregated basis.
Overall it can be seen that number of regions receiving normal to excess rainfall has been lower than last year. Additionally, area under deficient rainfall has gone up considerably in the recent period. However, the situation is better than it was in 2014.
Sowing of crops
Table 2 below shows that overall area under cultivation is lower than that last year by 22.7%. Of the broad categories of crops covered here, rice and sugarcane are the only products that have witnessed higher acreage. The lower level of rainfall is one of the reasons for the same.
It is however expected that with a very rainfall of 80.7 mm received in the first week of July, which is higher than the normal of 59.8mm for this period, the acreage area should show major improvement in this period. What will be crucial from a supply as well as price perspective is the progress in case of pulses and oilseeds as these are the vulnerable segments in terms of price effects. Coarse cereals too have not shown encouraging signs, which was also the case last year.