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Monsoon Less Than Normal Till Date

June 19, 2009

YTD seasonal rainfall is 45% below normal. The Met department has indicated that the weakness could continue over the next week. It is early days yet, as June typically accounts for only 20% of the total south west monsoon. But a recovery over the next month is critical, in our view.

Structurally the importance of agriculture as a percentage of GDP has decreased over the past few decades, from nearly 50% in the early 1970s to about 17% now. But the monsoon is still important for the farm sector, as nearly 60% of India’s agriculture is rainfall-dependent.

An analysis of weak monsoons over the past indicates that the earnings impact has been mixed due to various offsetting factors. But consumption-related sectors, i.e. staples,discretionary and telecom, typically underperform both over the July Sept quarter and the fiscal year in which the monsoon has been weak.

Also, in the recent past, rural India has been driving consumption growth on the back of various government stimuli. This segment is vulnerable to a pull back.

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