OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued to trend higher the fourth week of January 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.
Prices for all but one of the eight major fertilizers were higher compared to a month earlier. Once again leading the way to the high side was anhydrous, which was 5% higher compared to the previous month. The nitrogen had an average price of $490 per ton.
The remaining six fertilizers that were higher saw only slight price gains. DAP had an average price of $458 per ton, MAP $492/ton, urea $353/ton, 10-34-0 $415/ton, UAN28 $226/ton and UAN32 $261/ton.
For the first time in several weeks, one fertilizer was actually slightly lower in price compared to last month. Potash had an average price of $344 per ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.38/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.40/lb.N and UAN32 $0.41/lb.N.
With the higher retail fertilizer prices being seen in the last few months, will farmers alter how they apply fertilizer in the 2018 growing season? Will they apply less fertilizer, change different forms of fertilizer, or maybe even change crops to limit the need for nutrients?
Jason Scott, who farms near Burrows, Indiana, told DTN he didn't think higher retail fertilizer prices would affect too many farmers' fertilizer plans in his north-central Indiana region. Most already have some fertilizer applied, he said.
Quite a bit of fertilizer, both dry and anhydrous, was applied this fall and into winter, he said. Scott was able to get anhydrous applied in mid-December thanks to cooperative weather.
"We got the dry put down in the fall, and then the weather was so nice in December there we put on anhydrous, something we don't do very often around here," Scott said.
Scott checked with his local fertilizer retailer and found out the anhydrous price at that time was around $420 per ton and the spring price was set closer to $515 per ton, almost $100 per ton more. That was why he decided to apply in December instead of waiting until the spring, he said.
In the fall, he applied both potash and MAP, buying potash for $300/ton and MAP for $405/ton. He said he will come back with spring nitrogen pre-plant and sidedressing with 28%, which he already purchased for $200/ton.
While fertilizer prices have been moving higher over the last couple of months, Scott said whatever the commodity market does will have the biggest effect on fertilizer prices. Higher commodity prices could push fertilizer prices upward, while lower commodity prices could push fertilizer lower as well.
"They usually move together," he said.
All but three fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices pushing higher in recent months. Both urea and anhydrous are now 2% higher, while both DAP and potash are 7% higher and MAP is 11% more expensive.
Three fertilizers are still lower in price compared to a year prior. UAN32 is 3% lower while UAN28 is 4% and 10-34-0 is 5% less expensive looking back a year.
DTN collects roughly 1,700 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.
DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer price in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.
Retail fertilizer charts dating back to 2010 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts included cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.
DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):
|Jan 23-27 2017||429||443||322||347|
|Feb 20-24 2017||433||452||332||359|
|Mar 20-24 2017||438||464||338||356|
|Apr 17-21 2017||438||466||339||352|
|May 15-19 2017||437||471||340||350|
|Jun 12-16 2017||437||470||341||338|
|Jul 10-14 2017||436||467||340||321|
|Aug 7-11 2017||434||462||339||311|
|Sep 4-8 2017||431||458||338||302|
|Oct 2-6 2017||425||453||348||323|
|Oct 27-Nov 3 2017||434||455||348||330|
|Nov 27-Dec 1 2017||435||460||342||340|
|Dec 25-29 2017||448||488||344||348|
|Jan 22-26 2018||458||492||344||353|
|Jan 23-27 2017||436||480||235||268|
|Feb 20-24 2017||440||490||241||276|
|Mar 20-24 2017||441||507||248||280|
|Apr 17-21 2017||437||509||247||280|
|May 15-19 2017||436||510||248||283|
|Jun 12-16 2017||435||500||246||278|
|Jul 10-14 2017||431||451||235||268|
|Aug 7-11 2017||440||419||224||258|
|Sep 4-8 2017||418||413||215||248|
|Oct 2-6 2017||413||399||208||243|
|Oct 27-Nov 3 2017||405||401||208||262|
|Nov 27-Dec 1 2017||403||417||216||271|
|Dec 25-29 2017||407||468||216||254|
|Jan 22-26 2018||415||490||226||261|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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