ABARES is forecasting Australian 2016 oat production at 1.551 MMT, which if realized, would be the highest level in 13-years and would finish well above last year’s 1.308 MMT and the five year average of 1.229 MMT.
Oat plantings climbed 9.3% this year with yields forecast up 8.5% this year said ABARES in their June crop report. High returns for oats compared to other crop and strong export demand for not only raw oats but also oat products continue to drive oat production higher.
Production gains are expected to be the largest in Victoria at 46%, followed by Western Australia at 18%, New South Wales at 8.3% with South Australia at 6% (see pg. 2).
The forecasted 0.120 MMT increase in Western Australian (WA) production should improve the supply outlook for both milling and export use there. Australia has been noticeably absent from several traditional raw oat export markets, including Mexico and South Africa over the past year. The bulk of Australian oat exports continue to originate in WA. The state is also home to the largest oat milling industry. The EU and Canada have filled the void left by Western Australian exporters in 2015/16. Whether WA exporters recapture the lost markets will depend on final production and price levels moving forward. Australian oat prices remain the highest globally. .
Millers and exporters are reporting strong and increasing demand for raw oat and oat products to the Indian Subcontinent, China and South East Asia. Exports are showing a 5% CAGR over the past five years with oat products at 4%. Production by contrast is growing at at only 1%.