OMAHA (DTN) -- As in recent weeks, retail fertilizer prices continue to be very quiet with no significant movement in either direction, according to retailers tracked by DTN for the fourth week of April 2017.
Of the eight major fertilizers, four are slightly higher in price compared to a month earlier. Those four are MAP, potash, anhydrous and UAN32.
MAP had an average price of $466/ton, potash $338/ton, anhydrous $509/ton and UAN32 $280/ton.
The remaining four fertilizers are slightly lower in price from last month, but, again, none of them a considerable amount. DAP had an average price of $437/ton, urea $352/ton, 10-34-0 $437/ton and UAN28 $247/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.38/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.
In a University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Cropwatch report titled "Fertilizer Price Changes from 1994-2017" from April 25, Bob Klein, western Nebraska crop specialist, takes an interesting look at retail fertilizer prices going back 23 years.
Fertilizer is one of the major input costs for crop producers and changes more in price each year than many other input costs, Klein wrote. Producers can reduce their fertilizer costs by selecting the most economical source for the fertilizer they need.
On the price per pound of nitrogen basis, prices are more expensive over the 23-year period, but maybe not as much as one would expect.
In 1994, 28% had a price of $0.23 per lb/N. By 2006 the price was $0.42 and in 2009 it skyrocketed to $0.82. In 2010, it fell back to $0.32 but then jumped up to $0.72 in 2012 and 2013 and then decreased to $0.57 in 2014 and 2015. For 2017, UNL had the price at $0.44.
Like 28%, urea was also at $0.23 per pound of N in 1994. In 2006, the price was $0.38 and jumped to $0.90 in 2009. By 2010 the price was back at $0.43, but it yo-yoed to $0.60 in 2011 and $0.68 in 2012 and 2013.
Urea's price fell again in 2014 to $0.52 and it is at $0.38 for 2017, according to the UNL data.
One fertilizer whose prices did significantly increase during this time was liquid fertilizer, specifically 10-34-0.
Starter fertilizer's price in 1994 was $1.22/gallon. By 2001 the price increased slightly to $1.30. Then it skyrocketed higher in 2009 with all fertilizers and had a price of $6.84. By 2010 the prices had declined to $1.90 but was back up to $4.50 in 2011.
10-34-0's roller coaster price was at $3.35 in both 2012 and 2013 before declining to $2.55 in 2014. It was back up to $3.30 in 2015 and back down to $2.80 in 2016 and $2.40 so far in 2017.
"Table 1 lists the fertilizer costs used each year in the Nebraska Extension Crop Production Budgets since 1994," Klein wrote. "These prices were gathered the previous fall, so they may vary from the costs in late winter or spring."
The entire report can viewed at
Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. Half of the eight major fertilizers are still double-digits lower.
10-34-0 is 22% lower from a year ago, both anhydrous and UAN32 are 13% less expensive and UAN28 is 10% lower. Urea is 9% less expensive well both DAP and potash are both 8% lower and MAP is 7% less expensive compared to year earlier.
DTN collects roughly 1,700 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.
DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer price in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.
Retail fertilizer charts dating back to 2010 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts included cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.
DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):
|Apr 25-29 2016||476||502||366||386|
|May 23-27 2016||476||501||365||381|
|June 20-24 2016||470||495||358||366|
|July 18-22 2016||464||493||357||357|
|Aug 15-19 2016||452||471||333||337|
|Sept 12-16 2016||444||458||320||324|
|Oct 10-14 2016||438||452||313||316|
|Nov 7-11 2016||429||449||314||323|
|Dec 5-9 2016||434||443||318||333|
|Jan 2-6 2017||431||442||322||339|
|Jan 30-Feb 3 2017||430||448||329||353|
|Feb 27-Mar 03 2017||436||458||335||361|
|Mar 27-31 2017||438||465||338||356|
|Apr 24-28 2017||437||466||338||352|
|Apr 25-29 2016||560||587||274||321|
|May 23-27 2016||560||587||274||321|
|June 20-24 2016||554||567||265||305|
|July 18-22 2016||546||546||260||304|
|Aug 15-19 2016||513||516||238||285|
|Sept 12-16 2016||474||496||233||272|
|Oct 10-14 2016||454||475||224||264|
|Nov 7-11 2016||447||468||217||256|
|Dec 5-9 2016||445||463||219||257|
|Jan 2-6 2017||436||465||218||255|
|Jan 30-Feb 3 2017||439||482||236||270|
|Feb 27-Mar 03 2017||440||502||246||279|
|Mar 27-31 2017||441||508||248||279|
|Apr 24-28 2017||437||509||247||280|
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com
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