April 2018 Oats Prices Recap

It is tough to be an oats trader or farmer, especially given that other crops receive so many headlines at the expense of their crop of choice. There was little news to report for most of the month but oats prices were volatile with the rest of the market. However, last week’s Statistics Canada acreage report offered at least one headline.

Most of the oats market continue to eye ongoing developments in Canada. Two major factors are at play on oats prices, and the world is watching. First, the Canadian government is struggling to get the trains running on time as railcar delays threaten to spill over into the next crop cycle.

Second, markets are eyeing the possibility of a significant trade war between the United States and China. While China is already buying up Canadian soybeans ahead of any potential tariff, the question is whether Canada will use this development to encourage the export of the nation’s oats to the exploding market.

With Chinese demand surging — and Australia and New Zealand the primary suppliers to the market — Canada must look to break through and push their crop to benefit farmers in the Prairies. That being said, we continue to see challenges for Canadian oats to make it into the Chinese market, given a bit more preferential treatment given to Aussie oats.

Here’s a breakdown of the action on the oats prices that we’re watching on the futures board this month:

  • May 2018: +0.2% or 0.5¢ to $2.255 USD / bushel
  • July 2018: +0.9% or 2.0¢ to $2.358 USD / bushel
  • Dec 2018: +0.0% or 0.0¢ to $2.508 USD / bushel
  • Mar 2019: +0.0% or 0.0¢ to $2.568 USD / bushel


April was a very busy month for our analysts, as we covered daily market trading and turned our focus to a wealth of data that emerged from agencies and analysts around the globe.

For our oats GrainCents readers, this month we talked about supply and demand outlook, a new craze, and US trade policy. Specifically, we looked at:

Be sure to sign up for your free 3-week trial at GrainCents as this month could be the most impactful for how and when you price your oats for the rest of 2017/18 old crop supply, as well as a significant portion of your 2018/19 new crop production.


About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.

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