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Kharif Sowing Tumbles 9% Despite Raining Across Most Indian Parts

Picture Source: Internet

The acreage under kharif crops was almost 8.6% YoY until Friday, despite a monsoon rainfall increase across most Indian parts. Acreage is knowingly down for Kharif crops like rice, pulses (arhar or tur, and urad), soybean, and cotton.

Kharif crops are planted in 101 million hectares (mn ha); sowing was over in 35.34 mn ha until Friday (35%). Therefore, rainfall in July’s remaining weeks and August turned vital.

According to traders, for crops such as arhar or tur, the market started factoring in a drop in yields and prices not decreasing significantly. This might impact efforts to keep food inflation low as arhar is the key commodity of daily consumption.

Arhar acreage until Friday was almost 60% less YoY at 0.6 mn ha; urad acreage was down 31.43% over the area covered during the last period.
In Maharashtra and Karnataka, being important tur-producing areas, deficiency in monsoon rains is still important.

Data showed monsoon rainfall is 36% deficient in Karnataka and between 31% and 43% in Maharashtra. Urad acreage is sharply low in Maharashtra.

For rice, the main cereal grown in the Kharif season, the crop was sown in around 5.41 mn ha, 24% less YoY. The rice acreage is mainly in Punjab, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh.

In Punjab, a major rice-producing state, extensive irrigation coverage ensures that acreage picks up. The monsoon rainfall was vigorous over Punjab, which should also aid rice planting.

For other key crops lagging in acreage terms, soybean and cotton trade and market sources believe sowing might pace soon as the monsoon turns active.

If El Niño leads to a monsoon slowdown after August, it may not impact kharif sowing, but if El Niño starts affecting in July and August, it may harm kharif crops with their yields. Southwest monsoon rainfall since June 1 (until July 7) was 215 mm, almost 3% below average.

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