ABARES released their first 2018 Australian crop forecasts today. Oat production was estimated at 1.121 MMT, up slightly from 2017 estimates but below the five-year average of 1.433 MMT. As currently forecast, this is one of the smaller crops in the past 10 years.
Total Aussie oat area is forecast to fall 6.6% this year with yield expected to climb 7.2% said the ABARES report. The 2018 area estimate is 16.7% below the five-year average.
Oat production is forecast to fall in three of the five eastern states, NSW (-1.6), VC (-14.8) and SA (-31.4). Dry to very dry conditions across much of the eastern oat production area in May and June has reduced the yield outlook in the region (see pg. 2 for statstate-levelail).
Western Australia (WA) production is forecast to climb 15% but still 6.3% below the average. WA is the largest exporter of raw oats and production in the state supports a major oat milling/processing industry.
Today’s ABARE estimates for 2018 forecast changes little our 2018/19 Australian oat balance sheet.
Total supplies are forecast down 19% with total use to fall 21% mainly on lower domestic feed use. Exports are forecast at 0.600, up from 2017/18 estimates of 0.550 MMT.
The increases are targeted mostly to the Chinese market, where imports continue to rapidly increase. We are also expecting increased exports to India, Malaysia and other SE Asian markets.
Australia has quickly in the span of less than five-years become the world’s second largest oat exporter behind Canada. This is due to rising demand for oat related food products in Asia, India and the Indian Sub-Continent. We expect growth to continue into 2022 and beyond.