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India’s monsoon starts delayed retreat

MUMBAI: India’s monsoon rains started withdrawing from the northwest of the country on Monday, more than a week later than normal, the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a statement.

The monsoon, the lifeblood of India’s US$3 trillion economy, delivers nearly 70 per cent of the rain needed to water its farms and recharge reservoirs and aquifers.

The monsoon generally begins in June and starts to retreat by Sep 17 but rains continued this year, helping to reduce a precipitation deficit after the driest August in more than a century hit some summer crops.

Monsoon rains were 9 per cent below average in June before rebounding to 13 per cent above average in July. The weather office then registered 36 per cent below-average rains last month.

Monsoon rains so far in September are 17 per cent above average, according to IMD.

“The southwest monsoon has withdrawn from some parts of Rajasthan. Conditions are favourable for the withdrawal of the monsoon from more northern states in the next one week,” a senior IMD official said.

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