Rising oats bids possibly nearing top

(Doug Wilson photo courtesy ARS/USDA)

Commodity News Service Canada – Oats futures at the Chicago Board of Trade and cash bids in Western Canada have shown some strength over the past month, but may not have much more room to the upside.

“There was a bit of a panic in late October that pushed cash prices higher,” said Scott Shiels, grain procurement merchant with Grain Millers Canada in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. He said most of the strength was tied to buyers scrambling due to the late harvest.

Spot bids as high as $3 per bushel were being offered in Shiels’ area, with prices a bit higher farther out.

About a quarter of the Saskatchewan oats crop was still in the fields as of October 24, but weather conditions have finally improved and farmers are making some progress bringing in the last of the crop.

Shiels said one surprising thing was how much of the oats being harvested now were still making milling quality.

“We thought we would see nothing but garbage, but it’s amazing,” said Shiels adding that “there will be more adequate quality oats than we were expecting.”

That better-than-expected quality will likely keep a cap on the upside, at least in the short term until the full state of this year’s crop is known.

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