OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices finally began to decline the fourth week of May 2018 as spring application wrapped up, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. After weeks of prices for a few fertilizers moving slightly lower and then rising again, this is the first week most fertilizer prices are lower.
Prices for five of the eight major fertilizers were lower compared to last month, marking the first week since October 2017 that prices for a majority of fertilizers were lower. While none were down significantly, the fact that most prices were lower is a significant milestone.
DAP had an average price of $483 per ton, MAP $504/ton, urea $364/ton, anhydrous $504/ton and UAN32 $276/ton.
Prices for the remaining three fertilizers were slightly higher than they were the previous month. Potash had an average price of $354/ton, 10-34-0 $439/ton and UAN32 $276/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.
Fred Butt, a sales agronomist with Donovan Farmers Co-op Elevator, Inc. Donovan, Illinois, told DTN that despite the slight fall in retail fertilizer prices this past week, prices for most fertilizers probably won't see much of a decline in the coming weeks and months.
"I'm told (fertilizer) producer margins are tight and oncoming production isn't without problems," Butt said. "Bottom line is next year's nitrogen pricing will probably be equal to or maybe even more than in 2018."
The UAN price has held fairly firm in recent weeks with sidedressing still happening in some parts of the Corn Belt. With more producers utilizing this application method, it has extended the fertilizer application window compared to past years with less sidedressing.
The same fate likely awaits anhydrous prices, as sidedressing is wrapping up in some locations and continuing in other places, according to Butt.
As for phosphorus and potash fertilizers, Butt said not much is happening with prices of either nutrient.
Phosphorus producers are been fairly quiet in recent weeks and are not really sharing any fill prices, Butt said. Potash, meanwhile, has had decent movements, but prices are expected to remain fairly flat, he said.
Six of the eight major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices pushing higher in recent months. Both 10-34-0 and anhydrous are now up 1%, potash is 4% higher, MAP is 7% more expensive, urea is 8% higher and DAP is 11% more expensive compared to last year.
The remaining two fertilizers are lower in price compared to a year prior. UAN32 is 1% lower while UAN28 is 3% 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):
|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 30-May 4 2018||485||505||353||368|
|May 28-June 1 2018||483||504||354||364|
|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|
|Apr 30-May 4 2018||431||510||241||277|
|May 28-June 1 2018||439||504||241||276|
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com
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