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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Majority of Fertilizers Are Lower

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Anhydrous prices were slightly higher than last month at retailers DTN tracks. However a fertilizer price prediction model out of Kansas State University foresees a drop to $557/ton by November. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizers tracked by DTN for the first week of March 2019 show lower prices. This marks the second week in a row a majority of the fertilizer prices have been lower.

Five of the eight major fertilizers were lower compared to last month, but none were down a notable amount. DAP had an average price of $$510/ton, MAP $534/ton, urea $403/ton, UAN28 $270/ton and UAN32 $317/ton.

Two fertilizers were higher than the prior month but neither were up by a significant amount. Potash had an average price of $386/ton and anhydrous $596/ton.

One fertilizer, 10-34-0, was unchanged from the previous month. Starter fertilizer had an average price of $470/ton.

On the cost of N/per pound, urea is at $0.44, anhydrous $0.36, UAN28 $0.48 and UAN32 $0.50.

Predicting anything, whether it's sports events or presidential elections is often a difficult task. But what if there was a way to predict retail fertilizer prices? According to one agricultural economist, this just might be possibility.

Kansas State University Agricultural Economist Gregg Ibendahl created a model to help predict what the anhydrous ammonia price might be. Forecasting a price is possible since the price of anhydrous ammonia is positively correlated with the price of both oil and corn. He wrote a report titled, "Predicting Fertilizer Prices," where he explains how the model works.

To read the full report, click on this link:


"Anhydrous ammonia is positively correlated with the corn price and the oil price because these two products represent something about the demand and supply of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer," Ibendahl said. "Economic theory tells us that higher price for an output will cause producers to produce more by using more of the production inputs."

A regression model was developed to help Ibendahl predict the anhydrous ammonia price, with corn prices representing the demand for ammonia and the oil price representing the supply for ammonia.

Ibendahl predict the anhydrous price for November will be $557/ton.

"Going forward in 2019, producers are likely to see some decreases in fertilizers prices later on during the year as oil prices have declined some from their fall/winter peaks of 2018," he said. "The model to predict anhydrous ammonia prices is based on a nine-month lag in oil prices."

Considering some higher oil prices from 2018 still have to show up in the model, fertilizer prices may not start to decline for a few months yet and may actually increase a little, he added.

Ibendahl noted other fertilizer prices are likely to decrease during 2019 as there is a strong correlation between anhydrous and other fertilizers.

While all fertilizers were higher compared to last month, none of the fertilizers were up a notable amount. DAP had an average price of $512/ton, MAP $534/ton, potash $383/ton, urea $407/ton, 10-34-0 $462/ton, anhydrous $580/ton, UAN28 $270/ton and UAN32 $305/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.35/lb.N, UAN28 $0.48/lb.N and UAN32 $0.48/lb.N.

All eight major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. MAP is 6% higher, both DAP and urea are 10% more expensive, both potash and 10-34-0 are 11% higher, UAN28 is 16% more expensive, UAN32 is 17% higher and anhydrous is 19% more expensive.

DTN collects roughly 1,700 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.

DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer price in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.

Retail fertilizer charts dating back to 2010 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts included cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.

DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):

Mar 5-9 2018 463 503 349 367
Apr 2-6 2018 478 508 352 370
Apr 30-May 4 2018 485 505 353 368
May 28-June 1 2018 483 504 354 364
Jun 25-29 2018 485 505 354 364
Jul 23-27 2018 486 504 356 366
Aug 20-24 2018 487 514 356 364
Sep 17-21 2018 494 520 362 384
Oct 15-19 2018 498 518 365 405
Nov 12-16 2018 500 530 368 407
Dec 10-14 2018 505 533 375 407
Jan 7-11 2019 508 533 381 407
Feb 4-8 2019 511 536 385 408
Mar 4-8 2019 510 534 386 403
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Mar 5-9 2018 422 499 234 272
Apr 2-6 2018 425 508 239 274
Apr 30-May 4 2018 431 510 241 277
May 28-June 1 2018 439 504 241 276
Jun 25-29 2018 440 504 242 277
Jul 23-27 2018 442 501 243 279
Aug 20-24 2018 446 481 233 271
Sep 17-21 2018 448 494 239 278
Oct 15-19 2018 457 494 243 283
Nov 12-16 2018 457 519 245 287
Dec 10-14 2018 455 552 261 302
Jan 7-11 2019 461 573 267 304
Feb 4-8 2019 470 596 271 318
Mar 4-8 2019 470 596 270 317

Russ Quinn can be reached at russ.quinn@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN


Russ Quinn

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