The crucial June-September southwest monsoon rainfall has given much cause to cheer, given the fairly-uniform progression until July 20, as indicated by the India Meteorological Department, the official weather forecaster.
India recorded 1 percent surplus rainfall between June 1 to July 20 in the crucial June-September season. The spread and the intensity of rainfall has broadly allayed fears arising from a delay in the onset of rainfall this year, given that 75 percent of the rainfall in India occurs between June and period and that about 60 percent of the cropped area in India is rain-fed.
This has also resulted in sowing activity starting in full swing across the country, according to provisional data released by the government on Friday.
Data on sowing pattern across the country showed that area under Kharip crop sowing until Friday (July 22) is up, though at a marginal 3 percent, from 671 lakh hectare last financial year, to 692 lakh hectare. It was 124.94 lakh hectare as of June 24, as compared to 164.10 lakh hectare to a similar timeframe last year.
The increase is up almost 40 percent for pulses at 90.17 lakh hectare, from 64.69 lakh hectare last fiscal.
"It is reported that rice has been sown/transplanted in 183.06 lakh ha, pulses in 90.17 lakh ha, coarse cereals in 130.80 lakh ha, oilseeds in 149.16 lakh ha, sugarcane in 45.41 lakh hectare and cotton in 86.86 lakh ha," according to a statement issued by the agriculture ministry.
In May this year, the Modi government has set the foodgrain production target as 270.10 million tonnes for 2016-17 as against an estimate of 252.23 million tonnes last financial year, citing prospects of a good rainfall. India suffered two successive droughts before the current year.
The progression of the southwest monsoon has buoyed market sentiments, as rural India consumption matters a lot for automobiles, fast moving consumer goods and jewellery sectors.
State Bank of India, in its July 21 update titled "Ecowrap," made a bullish projection for the automobile sector, factoring in the monsoon. "In automobiles, cars and utility vehicles is expected to clock 9 to 10% growth in FY2017 (7.3% growth in FY2016). On the back of improved monsoon prospect, pay commission and new model launches the general outlook does appear well placed. Stable crude prices may also prompt new buyers to own or migrate to buying a new car."