OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued to creep higher the first week of April 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. This marks the fourth straight week that prices for most of the eight major fertilizers have been higher compared to last month.
However, for the third consecutive week, no fertilizer price was up a significant amount. DAP had an average price of $478 per ton, MAP $508/ton, potash $352/ton, urea $370/ton, 10-34-0 $425/ton, anhydrous $508/ton, UAN28 $239/ton and UAN32 $274/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.43/lb.N and UAN32 $0.43/lb.N.
Nitrogen prices in 2018 was the subject of an April 3 article titled "Nitrogen Prices, Rates Cuts and 2018 Fertilizer Costs" in the Farmdoc Daily newsletter from the University of Illinois. Author Gary Schnitkey wrote that, with nitrogen prices increasing in recent months, the fertilizer has now reached roughly the same level as what was seen in 2017.
Using USDA's Illinois Production Cost Report from March 29, anhydrous prices averaged $522 per ton in the state this year. This is more than $100 per ton higher than in September 2017 when the average price was $401 per ton.
"The $401 per ton is the lowest price in the history of anhydrous ammonia prices contained in the Illinois Production Cost Report," Schnitkey wrote.
"To achieve lower nitrogen fertilizer costs in 2018 than in 2017, many farmers will have to cut rates. Farmers who apply above agronomically recommended levels may consider reducing rates to save some money on inputs," he said.
Schnitkey pointed out that a 10-pound nitrogen application above the maximum return to nitrogen (MRTN) would require applications of 12.2 lbs. (a pound of anhydrous ammonia contains 0.82 lbs. of nitrogen) of anhydrous ammonia. At a $525-per-ton nitrogen price, this 12.2 lbs. of ammonia would have a cost of $3.20 per acre (12.2 lbs. x $525/ton / 2,000 lbs.).
"Farmers applying above MRTNs may consider reducing rates as a means of reducing costs while at the same time increasing expected returns from corn production," he wrote.
To read the entire report, visit http://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/….
Five of the eight major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices pushing higher in recent months. Anhydrous is now 1% higher, potash is 4% more expensive, urea is 5% higher and both DAP and MAP are 9% more expensive than last year.
The remaining three fertilizers are lower in price compared to a year prior. UAN32 is 2% less expensive while both 10-34-0 and UAN28 are 4% less expensive looking back a year.
DTN collects roughly 1,700 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.
DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer price in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.
Retail fertilizer charts dating back to 2010 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts included cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.
DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):
|Apr 3-7 2017||438||466||338||354|
|May 1-5 2017||436||466||339||351|
|May 29-Jun 2 2017||436||471||340||339|
|Jun 26-30 2017||437||470||340||333|
|Jul 24-28 2017||434||462||338||308|
|Aug 21-25 2017||434||458||338||304|
|Sep 18-22 2017||429||452||345||312|
|Oct 16-20 2017||432||452||348||340|
|Nov 13-17 2017||435||459||342||339|
|Dec 11-15 2017||439||479||343||340|
|Jan 8-12 2018||456||491||346||352|
|Feb 5-9 2018||458||493||344||355|
|Mar 5-9 2018||463||503||349||367|
|Apr 2-6 2018||478||508||352||370|
|Apr 3-7 2017||441||505||248||280|
|May 1-5 2017||436||508||247||280|
|May 29-Jun 2 2017||436||503||248||280|
|Jun 26-30 2017||435||484||238||268|
|Jul 24-28 2017||425||423||229||265|
|Aug 21-25 2017||419||417||216||248|
|Sep 18-22 2017||416||402||211||248|
|Oct 16-20 2017||413||397||205||262|
|Nov 13-17 2017||403||410||216||272|
|Dec 11-15 2017||403||434||218||256|
|Jan 8-12 2018||410||479||220||258|
|Feb 5-9 2018||415||492||227||261|
|Mar 5-9 2018||422||499||234||272|
|Apr 2-6 2018||425||508||239||274|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN
Copyright 2018 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.