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The production of oats reached 23M tonnes in 2017, fluctuating mildly over the period under review.
The production of oats reached 23M tonnes in 2017, fluctuating mildly over the period under review.

Insights into the global oats market


Issued by IndexBox - Sep 18th 2018, 15:06

According to the report "World: Oats - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025", recently published by IndexBox, the production of oats reached 23M tonnes in 2017, fluctuating mildly over the period under review.  

It fell abruptly over 2009-2010 due to a slump in demand during the global financial crisis. Afterwards, the global output recovered somewhat and then flattened through to 2017, but yet failed to regain its pre-crisis peak levels. Global harvested area of oats also keep a relatively flat trend pattern from 2011-2017, declining slightly over the last two years to 9,260K Ha.

Russia, Canada and Australia constitute major oats producers

Russia (4.7M tonnes), Canada (2.9M tonnes), Australia (1.4M tonnes) remain key oat-producing countries in 2017, with a combined 39% share of the total output. The other major producers, namely Poland, Finland, Brazil, the U.S., Spain, Argentina, the UK, Sweden and Chile, lagged far behind in terms of oats output.

In Canada, production levels had been decreasing by -4.6% annually from 2007 to 2017, due to a decrease in harvested areas over the last two years. In Russia and Australia, oats output experienced a very mild decrease.

Only 16% of the global oats output is intended for exports

Oats are a widely traded commodity, with the share of exports in total global output standing at approx. 16% in 2017. The trade intensity is not very high due to the most of oats are consumed locally (especially in Russia); however, there are significant amounts of imported oats in the U.S., which is the second consumer worldwide, in Germany, in China and in some other countries.

Canada remains the main global supplier of oats

The export volume totalled 3.2M tonnes in 2017 which is 4% more than in the previous year. The volume of oat exports maintained a relatively flat trend pattern over the last ten years, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations in certain years.

In 2017 the value of exports totalled $725M, bouncing back slightly against the previous year. Unlike the export volume, the export value was fluctuating during the observed period due to price fluctuations. There was a sharp drop from 2015-2016 due to a decrease in oats price. The price reflected a general trend for global cereal grain market, where prices were being pressured by a drop of energy prices.

As of 2017, Canada had the largest export volume of 1.5M tonnes, comprising 48% of total global import. It was followed by, all lagging far behind, Australia (13%), Finland (10%) and Sweden (8%).

The U.S. remains the largest market for imported oats

The volume of global imports totalled 3.6M tonnes in 2017, which is 9.9% more than in the previous year. In value terms, it equated $842M. The volume of oats imports maintained a trend pattern which echoed that of the volume of exports: these trade flows complement each other at a global scale.

As of 2017, the U.S. had the largest import volume of 1.5M tonnes which accounted for 43% of total global import. It was followed by China, which occupied another 25% share, and Mexico, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Japan.

Oat imports into the U.S. decreased at an average annual rate of -1.9% from 2007 to 2017. At the same time, China emerged as the fastest growing importer in the world, with a CAGR of +32.3% from 2007-2017, boosted by rising demand for cereal foods and breakfasts amid rapid urbanisation and popularity of healthy diet. The other countries also displayed positive, but moderate paces of growth.


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