The ongoing strength in the U.S. dollar compared with currencies in the European Union and Canada, the principal import origins for oats for the United States, exerted pressure on oats futures prices, according to a Jan. 22 report from the London-based International Grains Council.
Also a factor in current oats futures’ weakness was a 118% year-over-year increase in oats stored in commercial warehouses declared regular for delivery on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, said an oats market industry veteran.
In its most recent report, the CME indicated as of Jan. 16 120,000 bus of oats were stored in Chicago, 3,541,000 bus in Duluth-Superior and 9,748,000 bus in Minneapolis for a total of 13,409,000 bus. For the same date a year ago, the CME said 173,000 bus were stored in Chicago, 1,265,000 bus in Duluth-Superior and 4,718,000 bus in Minneapolis for a total of 6,156,000 bus.
Among forecasts made by the I.G.C. for oats in 2014-15 in its January report included a decline in world production of an estimated 5% compared with 2013-14 because of reduced area and yields in the E.U., Canada and Australia, a decline in world use of oats of about 1% because of well-priced feed grain substitutes, a decline in global carryover of 5%, and a 5% decline in projected world trade because of weaker U.S. demand. Canadian output in 2014 was estimated at 2.9 million tonnes, 25% lower than in 2013. The U.S. crop in 2014 was 1 million tonnes, up 8% from a year earlier.