OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices were slightly higher again the third week of February 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.
All eight of the major fertilizer prices were up slightly compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $460 per ton, MAP $496/ton, potash $345/ton, urea $357/ton, 10-34-0 $416/ton, anhydrous $495/ton, UAN28 $231/ton and UAN32 $265/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.41/lb.N and UAN32 $0.41/lb.N.
With retail fertilizer prices climbing higher over the last four months, I thought it might be interesting to look back at our data and see when the last time was that the price for each fertilizer was at the level it is currently. For some fertilizers, it has been a while since prices have been this high. For others, it has been less than a year.
For three fertilizers, the retail price is now the highest it has been in almost two full years.
DAP and MAP haven't been at their current level since the third week of July 2016 and the second week of July 2016. Those weeks, the prices were $464 per ton and $496 per ton, respectively.
With MAP currently closing in on the $500-per-ton plateau, the last time this fertilizer was that price or higher was the fourth week of May 2016 when the price was at $501 per ton.
Potash is the other fertilizer that hasn't been at its current price level in quite some time. The first week of August 2016 was the last time potash reached its current level with an average price of $346 per ton.
An interesting thing with these three fertilizers is how quickly the price has moved in recent months. For DAP and MAP, there was a fairly steep rise from last November to now, with prices climbing about $35 to $40 per ton. The retail price of potash has also moved about $30 per ton higher, but at a much slower pace, beginning way back in October 2016.
The remaining five fertilizers have returned to levels they were at a year or less ago.
The last time urea was at its current prices was the second week of March 2017 when the price was at $360 per ton. 10-34-0 last reached its current price level the first week of September 2017 when it was at $418 per ton; anhydrous the third week of June 2017 when it was $497 per ton; UAN28 the second week of July 2017 when it was at $235 per ton; and UAN32 the fourth week of November 2017 when it was at $271 per ton.
Much like DAP and MAP, anhydrous prices rose fairly steeply in a short amount of time, with prices up about $100 per ton from October 2017. The difference is that, according to DTN data, the price of anhydrous has a history of being much more likely to move higher or lower more quickly than the prices of both DAP and MAP, whose price movements are more flat.
Anhydrous is rapidly approaching the $500-per-ton level once again. The last time it was at that level was the second week of June 2017, when the price was right at $500 per ton.
Despite also being nitrogen fertilizers, UAN28 and UAN32 have not seen as steep of price increases as anhydrous. In addition, while the price of 10-34-0 has also moved higher during this period, it is only up about $13 per ton from October 2017.
Following increases in recent months, the prices of four fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. Anhydrous is now 1% more expensive, potash is 4% higher, DAP is 6% more expensive and MAP is 10% higher than last year.
The remaining four fertilizers are still lower in price compared to a year prior. Urea is 1% less expensive while both UAN28 and UAN32 is 4% lower and 10-34-0 is 6% less expensive than a year ago.
DTN collects roughly 1,700 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.
DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer price in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.
Retail fertilizer charts dating back to 2010 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts included cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.
DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):
|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|
|Feb 19-23 2018||460||496||345||357|
|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|
|Feb 19-23 2018||416||495||231||265|
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com
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