Oats Sep '20 (ZOU20)
|Tick Size||1/4 cent per bushel ($12.50 per contract)|
|Daily Limit||20 cents per bushel ($1,000 per contract) Expanded limit 30 cents|
|Contract Size||5,000 bushels|
|Trading Months||Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Dec (H, K, N, U, Z)|
|Trading Hours||7:00p.m. - 7:45a.m. and 8:30a.m. - 1:20p.m. (Settles 1:15p.m.) (Sun-Fri) CST|
|Value of One Futures Unit||$50|
|Value of One Options Unit||$50|
|Last Trading Day||The business day prior to the 15th calendar day of the contract month|
Oats are seeds or grains of a genus of plants that thrive in cool, moist climates. There are about 25 species of oats that grow worldwide in the cooler temperate regions. The oldest known cultivated oats were found inside caves in Switzerland and are believed to be from the Bronze Age. Oats are usually sown in early spring and harvested in mid to late summer, but in southern regions of the northern hemisphere, they may be sown in the fall. Oats are used in many processed foods such as flour, livestock feed, and furfural, a chemical used as a solvent in various refining industries. The oat crop year begins in June and ends in May. Oat futures and options are traded at the CME Group.
Prices - CME oat futures prices (Barchart.com electronic symbol ZO) on the nearest-futures chart moved lower early in 2019, rallied into the summer, faded into the fall, but then rallied to finally close the year up +10.3% at $3.03 per bushel. Regarding cash prices, the average monthly price received by farmers for oats in the U.S. in the first seven months of the 2019/20 marketing year (June/May) rose +6.4% yr/yr to $2.98 per bushel.
Supply - World oat production in 2019/20 is expected to rise +3.4 % yr/yr to 22.668 million metric tons, moderately above the record low of 19.625 million metric tons posted in 2010-11. World annual oat production in the past three decades has dropped very sharply from levels above 50 million metric tons in the early 1970s. The world's largest oat producers in 2019/20 are expected to be the European Union with 34.9% of world production, Russia with 19.4%, Canada with 18.4%, and Australia with 4.1%.
U.S. oat production in the 2019/20 marketing year is expected to fall -5.3% yr/yr to 53.148 million bushels. U.S. oat production has fallen sharply from levels mostly above 1 billion bushels seen from the early 1900s into the early 1960s. U.S. farmers are expected to harvest 826,000 acres of oats in 2019/20, down -4.5% yr/yr. That is far below the almost 40 million acres harvested back in the 1950s. The oat yield in 2019/20 is expected to fall -0.9% to 64.3 bushels per acre. Oat stocks in the U.S. as of December 2019 were down -19.6% yr/yr to 54.966 million bushels. The largest U.S. oat-producing states in 2019 were the states of North Dakota with 18.6% of U.S. production, Wisconsin with 12.2%, Minnesota with 11.7%, and South Dakota with 11.6%.
Demand - U.S. usage of oats in 2019/20 is expected to rise +2.6% yr/yr to 148.000 million bushels, above the 2011-12 record low of 106.360 million bushels. U.S. usage of oats in 2019/20 is expected to be 47.3% for feed and residual, 48.0% for food, alcohol and industrial, 4.7% for seed, and the rest for export.
Trade - U.S. exports of oats in 2019/20 are expected to rise +17.7% yr/yr to 2.000 million bushels. U.S. imports of oats in 2019/20 are expected to rise +9.7% yr/yr to 95.000 million bushels, but still below the 2007 record high of 123.29 million bushels.
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