October WASDE Shows Bullish Oats Carryout

On Thursday, October 11th, the USDA released the October WASDE report, which gave us further insight into global and American oats carryout numbers for 2018/19.

On Thursday, October 11th, the USDA released the October WASDE report, which gave us further insight into global and American oats production and carryout numbers for 2018/19.

When the report came out at 12 PM Eastern, the most noticeable difference was that oats production was lowered and 2018/19 ending stocks are now pegged at the lowest level since 2013/14.

Let’s dig in:

The most surprising thing was that the USDA lowered 2018/19 American oats production by 10 million bushels from the September WASDE estimate of 66 million bushels. This new production number of 56 million bushels (or 864,000 metric tonnes if converting bushels to tonnes) would still be up 13% year-over-year.

Two weeks ago, we discussed oats exports a fair bit, but we also mentioned the USDA’s estimate of American harvested acreage. This production number is off a total harvested oats acreage of 2.7 million acres, +4% year-over-year. This intuitively means that average American oat yields came in at 64.9 bushels per acre, +5% year-over-year.

Back in September, the USDA was estimating that 2018/19 American oats carryout would come in at 41 million bushels, the same as 2017/18. The USDA is now estimating that America will go into the 2019/20 crop year with 36 million bushels of oats carryout, down 5 million bushels month-over-month.

In the September WASDE, we noted clearly how global oats 2017/18 stocks were raised to 2.85 MMT, up 3% or 72,000 MT more than the August WASDE.

In this month’s WASDE, the USDA said that 2017/18 global oats ending stocks will remain unchanged at 2.85 MMT.

For the 2018/19 crop year, the USDA is forecasting global oats carryout at 2.78  MMT.

From a production standpoint, the top 10 oats producers in the world have consistently accounted for about 92% or more of the total global harvest over the past 2 decades.

However, with some production issues this year, largest changes in oat harvests were seen in:

  • Russia: 4.8 MMT (2017/18 production was 5.44 MMT)
  • Canada: 3.45 MMT (2017/18 production was 3.73 MMT)
  • Belarus: 460,000 MT (2017/18 production was 500,000 MT)


Keep in mind that StatsCan, using a satellite-based estimate 3 weeks ago, said that Canada will produce nearly 3.4 MMT of oats in 2018/19. This was mainly because StatsCan upgraded oat yields by more than 2 bushels per acre (bpa) to 90!  

Also worth noting is that the USDA is still not aligned with ABARES’ oats harvest estimate of 1.05 MMT in Australia from a month ago.

Going into this weekend’s GrainCent digest, we’ll be digging in a bit more into these numbers a bit more, in addition to:

  • European production details; and
  • Pick-up in oats prices recently.


See you Sunday morning!

H/T: October WASDE
About the Author
Brennan Turner

Brennan Turner is the CEO of FarmLead.com, North America’s Grain Marketplace. He holds a degree in economics from Yale University and spent time on Wall Street in commodity trade and analysis before starting FarmLead. In 2017, Brennan was named to Fast Company’s List of Most Creative People in Business and, in 2018, a Henry Crown Fellow. He is originally from Foam Lake, Saskatchewan where his family started farming the land nearly 100 years ago (and still do to this day!). Brennan's unique grain markets analysis can be found in everything from small-town print newspapers to large media outlets such as Bloomberg and Reuters.