Oats market steady, watching harvest

Winnipeg, (MarketsFarm) – The Western Canadian oats market is stable at prices a bit better than a year ago, as the harvest gets underway and participants wait to see how much will be moving off the combine to the market.

Early yield reports are ranging anywhere from 80 to 140 bushels per acre, said Tyler Palmer, grain buyer with Emerson Milling in southern Manitoba. He said quality was reportedly very good, but it was still early going.

Ryan McKnight, of Linear Grain in Carman, Man. echoed those sentiments, noting that quality was good but yields were mixed.

“We’ll be taking in a lot of oats this week,” said McKnight. He said end users were relatively well covered, but oats were still priced favourably compared to other commodities.

Prices are generally topping out in the C$3.25 per bushel area in Saskatchewan, for both old and new crop oats, according to Prairie Ag Hotwire data. New crop bids are generally a bit higher in Manitoba and lower in Alberta.

Prices were about 25 to 30 cents per bushel lower at this time last year, according to McKnight.

He expected seasonal harvest pressure could weigh on prices, but added that the market direction will depend on yields and on how much of the oats crop ends up being cut for green-feed.

On paper, increased seeded acres should be pointing to a larger Canadian oats crop, but “nobody knows how much will be cut for silage or green-feed,” said McKnight.

Poor hay cuts in Manitoba and Saskatchewan have led to tight forage supplies, which could see some oats cut as green-feed in cattle country.




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