LUKE, the Finnish Ag Ministry, confirmed a sharp decrease in 2018 oat production with their final estimates today. Production was pegged at 0.818 MMT, down 18% from the prior year as drought significantly impacted yields in 2018. Production has averaged 1.050 MMT over the past five-years.
The LUKE data also points to a continuation of the lower trending oat area and production in the major EU oat exporter.
Area and production are showing negative growth of –4.8% and -3.6% over the past five years (see chart top right and table pg. 2). This has also had an impact on raw oat exports with negative growth of 3.3% based on a 5-year CAGR.
Oats are not the only cereal crop in Finland posting negative growth. Wheat is down 3.1% with barely down 6.2% and mixed crops down 14%.
On the positive side, oat milling use and oat product trade continues to increase. We are expecting further growth as demand for foods containing oats is expected to show steady positive growth moving forward.
Finland is now the third largest exporter of oat products in the EU.
The tight Finnish 2018/19 oat balance sheet is expected to improve in 2019/20 with oat area expected to climb 1-5%.
Current crop conditions would point to optimism that yields will return to normal boosting yields and production, and exports in 2019/20(see above).