Canada Markets

Nearby Oats Futures Diverge From Grains

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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Nearby May oats futures rallied to a 17-week high on Tuesday, closing above retracement resistance at $2.94 1/2 per bushel. The nearby May/July inverse strengthened to a fresh high of 18 cents (first study), while the histogram bars in the second study shows the noncommercial net-long position increasing for the first time in eight weeks, as of April 9 data. (DTN ProphetX chart)

Counter to all other grains traded on Tuesday, May oats futures diverged, with a 5 1/2-cent gain this session and a close at $2.94 3/4/bu. This session saw trade reach its highest level seen since Dec. 12.

The first two studies on the attached chart support a bullish view of this market, with the nearby May/July inverse reaching a fresh high of 18 cents (May trading over the July). Meanwhile the brown histogram bars on the middle study points to a bullish net-long position not only held by noncommercial traders or investors, but strengthening for the first time in eight weeks in the latest week's CFTC data, as of April 9.

Amid the bearish views weighing on grains, the oats market bears watching. Canadian ending stocks for 2018-19 are currently forecast at the lowest level in six years and could approach the tightest stocks on record.

As well, wet conditions in many states could lead to planting delays. This USDA Weekly Crop Progress report shows 30% of the nine-state crop planted, behind the five-year average of 40% complete for this week. Five states are behind their average pace of planting, while according to the USDA's Prospective planting report released in March, represent 37% of the country's intended acreage.

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Cliff Jamieson can be reached at cliff.jamieson@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @Cliff Jamieson

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