IMD’s forecast of Normal monsoon is good news, in short term at least

India Met Department’s first forecast of the season indicated Normal monsoon in 2019 with well-distributed monsoon rainfall during June-September period; emphasizing on the very little impact that El Nino might have on monsoon. We are noticing that from the past couple of weeks, most weather models are predicting El Nino possibilities going below 50% after JJA (June-July-Aug) period, which is a sign that El Nino conditions might be weak by the time monsoon reaches its peak intensity in July-August months. Another important factor to watch will be IOD (Indian Ocean Dipole), almost all models are indicating a neutral phase of the IOD which might be turning positive in Aug-Sept months. Positive correlation of IOD with good monsoon could be interpreted as a possibility of a good finish to monsoon despite a slower start.
In the short term at least, this be positive news for the Indian farm sector. Lower production and supply issues in 2018 in important commodities like corn and pulses are being reflected in rising domestic prices and a below Normal monsoon would have sent the price sentiments further upwards. However, with the possibility of Normal monsoon, general sentiments will at least suggest some recovery in domestic production and could help normalize the prices. It is still early to call it out, but at least from Agri-sector’s point of view, news of Normal monsoon will bring some respite for farming community and government alike.