OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continued to move lower during the first week of October 2016, continuing the recent trend, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. All eight of the major fertilizers are lower compared to last month with only two fertilizers down a substantial amount.
Leading the way lower for the first time is anhydrous. The nitrogen fertilizer is 6% lower compared to a month earlier and has an average price of $472/ton.
The other fertilizer significantly lower is 10-34-0. The starter fertilizer is 5% less expensive from the first week of September and now has an average price of $454/ton.
The remaining six fertilizers were all lower compared to last month, but the move to the low side was fairly slight. DAP had an average price of $438/ton, MAP $451/ton, potash $312/ton, urea $315/ton, UAN28 $224/ton and UAN32 $263/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.34/lb.N, anhydrous $0.29/lb.N, UAN28 $0.40/lb.N and UAN32 $0.41/lb.N.
Declining retail fertilizer prices helped lower farmers' input costs in 2016 and now with the crops being harvested and fertilizer being applied for the 2017 growing season, many are wondering where fertilizer prices could be in the next growing season. In a post on the Agricultural Economic Insights website titled "Will Farmers Benefit from Lower Fertilizer Prices Again in 2017?" author David A. Widmar examines the possibility that even lower fertilizer prices could be seen in 2017.
The trends over the last few years show most retail fertilizer prices peaked in 2010 to 2012 and since mid-2013, prices have settled lower, he wrote.
"In fewer than two years of data, anhydrous ammonia prices went from $725 per ton in early 2015 to nearly $500 per tons recently," Widmar wrote. "And while many expected lower fertilizer prices, the magnitude of the decline, more than a 31% decrease, is more than many likely expected."
An estimated fertilizer expense for a 180-70-70 fertilizer application (anhydrous, DAP and potash) during the highest prices in 2011 to 2013 was around $160 per acre. By 2014 and 2015 prices had moved lower and this application would have cost nearly $140 per acre.
In the spring of 2016, the cost of this application dropped another $28 per acre and cost $112 per acre. Currently, the cost of this application is $96 per acre, nearly 40% lower than 2014 and 2015 levels, he wrote.
Looking forward to 2017, Widmar said fertilizer prices have been moving lower in recent months and could point to another year of lower fertilizer prices for producers. However, nothing is certain.
"While prices are currently lower than earlier this year, it will be important to monitor demand for fertilizer -- especially the intended size of the 2017 U.S. corn acreage," he wrote. "Commodity prices, fertilizer prices and crop acreages will all be important factors to watch over the winter."
Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. All fertilizers are now double-digits lower.
Both DAP and MAP are now down 20% and both 10-34-0 and UAN32 are 22% lower. UAN28 is down 24%, urea is 25% less expensive, anhydrous is 26% lower and potash is 30% less expensive compared to a year prior.
DTN collects roughly 1,700 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.
DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer price in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.
Retail fertilizer charts dating back to 2010 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts included cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.
DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):
|Oct 5-9 2015||548||564||446||418|
|Nov 2-6 2015||546||560||430||405|
|Nov 30-Dec 4 2015||541||559||421||400|
|Dec 28-Jan 1 2016||494||531||398||383|
|Jan 25-29 2016||495||515||391||380|
|Feb 22-26 2016||477||492||373||371|
|Mar 21-25 2016||475||501||371||390|
|Apr 18-22 2016||477||502||366||388|
|May 16-20 2016||476||501||365||384|
|June 13-17 2016||469||496||359||367|
|July 11-15 2016||467||496||358||360|
|Aug 8-12 2016||453||482||344||345|
|Sept 5-9 2016||446||464||325||325|
|Oct 3-7 2016||438||451||312||315|
|Oct 5-9 2015||584||639||294||338|
|Nov 2-6 2015||583||633||291||332|
|Nov 30-Dec 4 2015||578||627||286||332|
|Dec 28-Jan 1 2016||570||590||273||317|
|Jan 25-29 2016||571||569||271||317|
|Feb 22-26 2016||566||536||260||309|
|Mar 21-25 2016||561||569||276||312|
|Apr 18-22 2016||561||588||274||322|
|May 16-20 2016||558||588||274||321|
|June 13-17 2016||555||566||266||305|
|July 11-15 2016||538||547||266||306|
|Aug 8-12 2016||528||522||249||299|
|Sept 5-9 2016||478||502||228||274|
|Oct 3-7 2016||454||472||224||263|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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