India's 2016 monsoon rains seen above average: Skymet

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 11, 2016 8:24 AM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's annual monsoon rains are likely to be 105 percent above a long-term average, the country's only private weather forecaster said on Monday, snapping two straight years of drought that cut farm output and hit farmers' income.

The July-September monsoon delivers nearly 70 percent of annual rains and waters half of India's farmlands that lack irrigation facilities.

There is a 35 percent probability of above average rainfall, Skymet said in a statement.

Good monsoon rains play a key role in boosting demand for an array of consumer goods. Agriculture accounts for about 14 percent of India's $2 trillion economy, Asia's third-biggest, but supports two-thirds of India's 1.25 billion population.

State-run India Meteorological Department is soon expected to issue its forecast for this year's monsoon rains.

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal and Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)