Glacier FarmMedia COVID-19 & the Farm

Trading limits expand for CBOT oats on Prairie rail jams

Chicago | Reuters — The daily trading limit for Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) oat futures and options expands to US30 cents a bushel when the grain markets open on Thursday after the nearby contracts rallied the 20-cent limit on tight oat inventories.

CBOT oat futures closed on Wednesday locked up the 20-cent limit in the March contract at $4.48-3/4, after notching an all-time high of $4.67-1/4 on Feb. 7 (all figures US$). May oats closed at $4.13-3/4, up 20 cents.

The Chicago oat market has been on fire this winter as snarls in moving oats into the U.S. from top exporter Canada have limited the availability to food processors and livestock feeders.

“We still have adequate supplies between Canada and the U.S. to cover demand — we just have to get them moved into the right locations,” said Shawn McCambridge, a grains analyst with Jefferies Bache in Chicago.

Harsh weather, which has slowed movement, coupled with record-large Canadian wheat and canola harvests, has overwhelmed the Canadian railways.

March oats gapped higher on the open — breaking through their 10-day moving average near $4.30 — which triggered technical “buy” signals, traders said.

— Reporting for Reuters by Christine Stebbins in Chicago.

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