Monsoon rains were 33 per cent below average in the week to Sept 28, the weather office said on Thursday, as the four-month rainy season begins to retreat after a normal spell this year, boosting output prospects for crops such as rice and cane.
Monsoon rains have been two per cent above average since the start of the June-September season, in line with the weather office's forecast of a normal monsoon in 2011. In the past week it was 29 per cent above normal.
"Monsoon is expected to completely withdraw from the central parts (of the country) this week," said a weather official, who did not wish to be named as he is not authorised to talk to the media.
Monsoon rains are crucial to farm output in the world's second-most populous country because 60 per cent of its farms do not have irrigation facilities.
Normal rains this year have raised output hopes of summer crops like rice, cane and oilseeds.
Higher farm output could help India keep a lid on food prices, which have hovered around 10 per cent this year, and encourage exports of sugar and grains from Asia's third largest economy.