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NEW DELHI - Monsoon rains were 9 percent below average in the week ended July 30, the weather office said on Thursday, reflecting a patchy phase after the previous week's surplus downpours.
India expected to see below-average to average rains in 2014 if El Nino weather pattern gains strength
India suffered a severe drought in 2009 when monsoon rains failed due to El Nino
India's weather office rates as normal rainfall between 96 and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 centimetres
Poor monsoons could dent crop output in India - the world's No.2 rice and sugar producer
Healthy harvests can help keep a lid on food inflation
"There is a strong consensus about the possibility of evolution of an El Nino event during the summer monsoon season."
- D.S. Pai, lead forecaster of the Indian weather office