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India's August monsoon rains 3.4% above average- weather department

MUMBAI, Aug 31 (Reuters) - India received 3.4% more rainfall than average in August as central and southern parts of the country received heavy rains, the state-run weather office said on Wednesday.

The monsoon, which accounts for about 75% of India's annual rainfall, is vital as nearly half of the country's farmland doesn't have irrigation.

In August soybean and cotton growing regions received heavy rainfall, although rice growing regions in the north-east received lower rainfall, according to data compiled by the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD).

India is the world's biggest exporter of rice, a staple for Asia, and monsoon rains determine the size of the country's rice crop.

Good output would help India maintain its preeminent position in the global rice market, but a prolonged spell of lower or uneven rains could hit the crop.

India, the world's biggest rice exporter, is considering whether to restrict exports of 100% broken rice, government and industry officials told Reuters on Friday, after the paddy area has been reduced by a lack of rainfall.

In the first three months of June-September monsoon season India has received 6% more rainfall than average as the country received 16.8% more rainfall in July, which wiped out June's deficit of 8%.

The IMD defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96% and 104% of a 50-year average of 89 cm (34 inches) for the season. (Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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