UK grower oat prices are trading nearly £60.00/t more than in October 2017 based on corn return data.
Smaller than expected oat production this year, that also has quality issues, is coupling with rising commercial oat use to push oat prices to the highest monthly price since May 2013.
UK oat production is estimated to be 2% lower than in 2017 by Defra, while milling demand in July-September was up 8% on the same period last season. While it’s likely the milling pace will slow moving forward, it will finish up overall compared to 2017/18, and likely at a new record high.
According to historical data, oat prices should climb further into the start of the New Year. The tighter supply and quality issues coupled with the fact grower oats sales year to-date are running ahead of last year (see pg. 2) suggest prices will climb in step with the seasonal trends.
Imports have in the past supplemented short UK oat production years but “major” production/quality issues in Sweden and Finland will limit imports.