August 2018 Oats Prices Recap – FarmLead (GrainCents)

Oats prices through the end of August actually were higher as drought concerns in Canada & Australia weighed on the complex.

For the month though, oats prices actually gained 2.7% – 3.2% as the complex rallied from the lows seen at the end of July.

2018-08-31-oats-prices-end-of-month

Oats cash prices delivered to Saskatchewan elevators closed at $2.60 CAD per bushel ($2.00 USD per bushel). This is up 1.4% compared to where July ended, and up nearly 8% compared to the previous year. Canadian oats prices at the end of August were also 15% higher than the 5-year average.

2018-08-29-SK-Oats-Prices

Specifically on the FarmLead Marketplace this week, we saw $3 CAD / bushel FOB farm deals in east central Saskatchewan for 4Q2018 movement happening quite frequently. If you’re not yet at 20% sold on 2018/19 crop, or even have leftover 2017/18 crop, we would sincerely recommend getting it posted on the Marketplace now.

For our GrainCents readers, we’re watching a variety of factors that might affect oats prices: none are bearish, none are bullish, and 7 are noise.

(If you’re not familiar with what “noise” is, then we recommend you check out our GrainCents risk management process towards oats prices.)

This month, GrainCents investigated topics such as:

• Stable oats supply and demand, as reported in the August WASDE,
Glyphosate use on oats crops, and
StatsCan’s predictions for Canadian oats production in 2018/19.

On that note, late last week, Saskatchewan Agriculture provided their first estimate of the province’s yield, calling for 77 bushels per acre of oats. This is 15% behind last year’s Saskatchewan yield for oats of 90.8 bushels per acre.

Although this may seem like a significant year-over-year decline, it is important to note that Saskatchewan Agriculture’s first estimate of the 2017/18 oats crop was 76 bushels per acre, which means that the Canadian oats crop got bigger as the harvest went on.

Nationally, Statistics Canada said on Friday that Canadian oats yields would come in at 87.9 bushels per acre this year, falling 6% year-over-year. According to StatsCan, this would equate to total production number of 3.3 MMT this year. This is clearly bullish relative to last year’s production number of 3.7 MMT, and the 5-year average of 3.46 MMT.

One thing we obviously need to keep in mind though is that this production estimate from StatsCan doesn’t really account for the heat that hit most of the Canadian Prairies. That in mind, from the August production estimate to the final report in December, StatsCans’ number for oats tends to climb by 11%.

For further context, on Wednesday, September 19th, StatsCan will release its math/satellite-based production estimates, which tend to be more realistic, considering they account for the large majority of the growing season conditions.

To follow along with our monitoring of the oats prices (and making more sense of grain markets in general), join us for your free trial at GrainCents.

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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.

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