|Tick Size||1/4 cent per bushel ($12.50 per contract)|
|Daily Limit||30 cents per bushel ($1,500 per contract) Expanded limit 45 cents|
|Contract Size||5,000 bushels|
|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 in 2021 moved sharply higher throughout the year, posted an all-time high of $7.79 a bushel in November, and finished the year up sharply by +89.2% at $6.83 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 2021/22 marketing year (June/May) rose +40.8% yr/yr to $4.16 per bushel.
Supply - World oat production in 2021/22 is expected to fall -11.1 % yr/yr to 22.677 million metric tons, 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 2021/22 are expected to be the European Union with 35.9% of world production, Russia with 16.5%, Canada with 11.5%, and Australia with 6.8%.
U.S. oat production in the 2021/22 marketing year is expected to fall -39.0% yr/yr to a record low 39.836 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 a record low 650,000 acres of oats in 2021/22, down -35.6% yr/yr. That is far below the almost 40 million acres harvested back in the 1950s. The oat yield in 2021/22 is expected to fall -5.8% yr/yr to 61.3 bushels per acre, the lowest yield since 2012/13. Oat stocks in the U.S. as of December 2021 were down -11.2% yr/yr to 55.512 million bushels. The largest U.S. oat-producing states in 2021 were the states of Minnesota with 11.0% of U.S. production, Iowa with 10.1%, North Dakota with 10.0%, Wisconsin with 9.5%, and South Dakota with 9.4%.
Demand - U.S. usage of oats in 2021/22 is expected to fall -14.8% yr/yr to 125.000 million bushels, a new record low. U.S. usage of oats in 2021/22 is expected to be 58.6% for food, alcohol, and industrial, 36.0% for feed and residual, 5.4% for seed, and the rest for export.
Trade - U.S. exports of oats in 2021/22 are expected to fall -36.6% yr/yr to 2.000 million bushels. U.S. imports of oats in 2021/22 are expected to fall -9.9% yr/yr to 77.000 million bushels, the lowest level of imports since 1992/93.
Information on commodities is courtesy of the CRB Yearbook, the single most comprehensive source of commodity and futures market information available. Its sources - reports from governments, private industries, and trade and industrial associations - are authoritative, and its historical scope for commodities information is second to none. The CRB Yearbook is part of the Barchart product line. Please visit us for all of your commodity data needs.