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Monsoon rains 19% below normal in past week

India's key monsoon rains were 19% below normal in the week to July 13, improving from a quarter below average rains in the previous week, the weather office said today.

business Updated: Jul 14, 2011 16:24 IST

India's key monsoon rains were 19% below normal in the week to July 13, improving from a quarter below average rains in the previous week, the weather office said on Thursday.

The rains had been expected to slow in the first two weeks of July, the key month for planting, but are still forecast to be only slightly below normal for the entire June to September season.

Last year, rainfall was 24% below normal in the week to July 14 after a weak start in June, but rains picked up in the remaining period of the four-month monsoon and ended as normal.

India's June to September monsoon rains are crucial to crop production in 60% of the country that does not have adequate irrigation.