Oat imports into major global importers are forecast to climb 2.6% in 2020/21. If realized, this would be 3.6% above the five-year average. Imports are pegged at 2.698 MMT, the third-highest level on record (see below and table pg 2.)
The U.S. Germany, China, Mexico, Spain & Belgium account for 85% of the world’s oat imports. The bulk of the imports are food-related, with smaller amounts tied to feed demand.
The six major importers rely heavily on imports to fill demand from domestic oat millers as domestic oat production remains stagnant or has been on a steady decline. Canada, Sweden, Finland, Australia, and Poland remain the major suppliers to these markets.
COVID quarantines have increased demand for foods containing oats. This is driving the higher oat imports according to our conversations with oat millers and Government data.
Based on the recent increase in COVID numbers and reinstating of restrictions in many countries, oat food demand, and in turn oat milling activity will continue to remain strong deep into 2021.
Along with the higher raw oat exports, we are also seeing strong import demand for oat products, mainly oat flakes and groats.