Ask the Analyst: How’s India’s Monsoon Going?

Insight Focus

  • The monsoon is the lifeblood of India’s agriculture.
  • Good rainfall is especially important for sugar cane development.
  • If you’d like us to answer one of your questions in an upcoming edition, please email


Each monsoon is different. In the way it arrives, in the way the rain falls and the way it leaves. This is worth bearing in mind when comparing to long term averages, which hide the individuality of each monsoon behind an ensemble of statistics.

This year’s monsoon has broadly been on time, first making landfall in Southern India at the end of May. It has also advanced northwards at a normal rate.


However, the distribution of rainfall since June 1st has been extremely uneven. Parts of North East India (which do not grow cane) have been inundated with heavy rainfall. The west coast has been extremely dry.

Maharashtra and Karnataka are the two major states which rely on adequate water availability for cane development. Both are located in the South West of the country. Both are currently water deficient.


For the time being this doesn’t necessarily matter. July and August are traditionally the months which deliver the most rainfall and it’s normal for a monsoon to have active spells and inactive spells. The India Meteorological Department have announced that if rainfall increases in the next two weeks then agriculture shouldn’t be affected. Meanwhile, this weekend should bring stronger westerly winds along west coast and so more rainfall.

One other aspect to monitor is how full India’s reservoirs are. Cane in Maharashtra and Karnataka is often irrigated by channels, some of which are fed from groundwater but many of which are fed from reservoirs.


Reservoirs in the region have begun the monsoon period with a normal amount of water and so should benefit when the rains become more active. We will continue to monitor.

Other Insights That May Be of Interest…

Can India Sustain High Sugar Production?

Bangladesh’s Growing Sugar Demand Adds to Need for Production Investment

Explainers That May Be of Interest…

Czapp Explains: The Sugar Industry in Uttar Pradesh

Czapp Explains: The Sugar Industry in Maharashtra and Karnataka

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Stephen Geldart

Stephen joined Czarnikow in 2008 and leads the Analysis Team, who provide leading-edge coverage of the sugar, ethanol, ingredients and packaging markets primarily on, Czarnikow’s online portal. Czarnikow’s analysis team also provide price risk management services for sugar producers, refiners and consumers, and regularly undertakes strategic consultancy work for energy majors, banks, and agricultural businesses. Before joining Czarnikow, Stephen began his career in the oil refining industry. He holds an MSci in Chemistry from Imperial College London.

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