Oats steady and low, but price-wise the worst is over

Manitoba’s oat market is sitting low and stagnant, but since the commodity traditionally tracks corn futures, prices aren’t likely to depreciate further, says a U.S. analyst.

“I think Manitoba farmers were expecting a lot better and Saskatchewan farmers were expecting a lot worse, but really when the combines got in the field—you know everything was just sort of OK,” said Jarrod Firlotte, general manager at Emerson Milling Inc.

Delivered elevator oats in Manitoba as of Oct. 28 sit between $2.69 and $2.80, compared with the yearly range of $2.24 and $3.28, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire.

“This year everything is just kind of flat,” Firlotte said.

But producers likely won’t see lower prices in coming months. Oats traditionally track corn as competing feed grains.

“I don’t know that corn is going to get all that much cheaper. I think it’s a different scenario than we were in, say a year ago,” said Brian Rydlund, market analyst at CHS Hedging.

South America is expected to cut back on planted corn acres next year, and uncertainty about Ukraine’s crop could serve to push the market higher.

“If oats maintain their relationship with corn it’s hard to think they’re going to get a lot cheaper.”

Canada’s oat crop is estimated at 3,291,800 tonnes, compared with 2,979,008 in 2014, according to Statistics Canada.

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