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Apr 26, 2012, 05.12 PM IST | Source: Reuters

Expert views on India monsoon forecast

MONSOON-INSTANTVIEW:Expert views on India monsoon forecast

MUMBAI (Reuters) - India is likely to receive average monsoon rains this year, Earth Sciences Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said on Thursday, forecasting a third straight year without drought.

Rains during the June-September season are likely to be 99 percent of the long-term average, Deshmukh said.

The state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD) considers rains between 96-104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 centimetres in the entire four-month season as normal.

(For main story on India monsoon, click http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/04/26/india-monsoon-forecast-imd-idINDEE83P09520120426)

COMMENTARY:

ABHEEK BARUA, CHIEF ECONOMIST, HDFC BANK, IN NEW DELHI:

"Initial forecasts have gone wrong in many ways. The issue is one of the geographical and temporal distribution of rainfall. And that often lets us down. The cumulative average can be close to normal. You can have periods of shortfall and excess rain. I think, we need to keep an eye out, because the aggregate forecast could go wrong. And it is better not get too carried away by initial forecast. I think increasingly the forecast has to become crop and region specific. The initial forecast, however, is positive and encouraging."

HARISH GALIPALLI, RESEARCH HEAD, COMMODITIES, JRG WEALTH MANAGEMENT, HYDERABAD:

"Normal monsoon will boost food grain production and that should help in moderating food inflation. It will help the government in liberalising exports policy of key agriculture commodities. Ample supplies will encourage the government to allow more exports of food grains. That will help in bringing down the trade deficit."

KUMAR JAIN, VICE CHAIRMAN, MUMBAI JEWELLERS ASSOCIATION, MUMBAI:

"The whole cycle of demand for gold starts from agriculture. There will be more liquidity in the hands of farmers and that will increase demand for gold. The same thing applies to silver as well."

DHRUV GOEL, MANAGING PARTNER, STEELMINT, BHUBANESWAR:

"Monsoon will impact iron ore shipments especially from Goa and Paradip in Orissa. Goa port will get shut in a month's time. The impact on prices will depend on demand and other macro sentiment."

ASHOK JAIN, PRESIDENT, BOMBAY SUGAR MERCHANTS ASSOCIATION, MUMBAI:

"A good monsoon will help India to produce surplus for the third straight year. Estimating sugar production will be difficult right now, but certainly it will be more than our annual consumption of 22 million tonnes. India will remain a net exporter in 2012/13, but prices will remain under pressure."

(Reporting by Mumbai bureau; Editing by Jo Winterbottom)

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