OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continue to be mostly higher, albeit marginally, according to prices tracked by DTN for the first week of July 2018.
Seven of the eight major fertilizers were higher compared to last month, but none were up a significant amount. DAP had an average price of $485/ton, potash $354/ton, urea $366/ton, 10-34-0 $443/ton, anhydrous $505/ton, UAN28 $242/ton and UAN32 $279/ton.
One fertilizer, MAP, was unchanged from the month prior. The phosphorus fertilizer had an average price of $504/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 $0.44/lb.N.
Historically, it's about the time retail fertilizer prices begin to drop since most of the season's applications are complete. This year is bucking that seasonal trend, as prices remain steady to slightly higher.
Clarke McGrath, Iowa State University Extension On-Farm Research and Extension coordinator for the Iowa Soybean Research Center, told DTN those expecting a drop in retail fertilizer prices this summer may be in for an unpleasant surprise. The chances of lower fertilizer prices appear to be fairly slim, he said.
"Prices are not dropping," said McGrath, who is a former fertilizer retailer and agronomist. "There have been some production hiccups here and there, which might explain why prices are not falling, along with no large increases in overall (fertilizer) production."
McGrath said there are two other reasons why farmers may not see lower fertilizer prices this summer and into the fall: the corn market and trucking concerns.
While corn prices have moved lower in recent weeks, the market trend has been mostly sideways. He said if you following the theory that the fertilizer market moves with the corn market, steady corn prices have perhaps lulled fertilizer prices into a sleepy pattern as well.
The trucking industry could also be indirectly preventing fertilizer prices from making their seasonal decline, he said. Changing rules and regulations in the trucking industry have complicated the logistics of shipping fertilizer.
"These changes are reducing productivity for trucking firms," he said.
Earlier this spring, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed a temporary waiver of the hours of service restriction for commercial drivers as Northern Plains farmers scrambled to apply fertilizer after winter weather hung around well into May. Truckers have also had several issues with the new electric logging device rules, Burgum said.
All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher in recent months. 10-34-0 is 2% higher, UAN28% is 3% more expensive, UAN32 is up 4%, potash gained 5%, MAP is 8% higher, anhydrous is 9% more expensive, DAP is 11% higher and urea is 12% more expensive compared to last 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):
|Jul 3-7 2017||436||467||339||325|
|Jul 31-Aug 4 2017||434||463||339||311|
|Aug 28-Sept 1 2017||433||457||338||303|
|Sep 15-29 2017||432||453||348||321|
|Oct 23-27 2017||431||453||347||325|
|Nov 20-24 2017||435||460||342||338|
|Dec 18-22 2017||445||485||344||348|
|Jan 15-19 2018||456||491||345||355|
|Feb 12-16 2018||457||495||345||357|
|Mar 12-16 2018||466||503||350||368|
|Apr 9-13 2018||482||504||353||369|
|May 7-11 2018||483||505||354||366|
|Jun 4-8 2018||484||505||354||364|
|Jul 2-6 2018||485||504||354||366|
|Jul 3-7 2017||432||462||236||268|
|Jul 31-Aug 4 2017||426||418||227||262|
|Aug 28-Sept 1 2017||418||417||215||248|
|Sep 15-29 2017||413||396||208||243|
|Oct 23-27 2017||407||393||205||262|
|Nov 20-24 2017||403||410||216||272|
|Dec 18-22 2017||405||461||218||254|
|Jan 15-19 2018||407||485||226||260|
|Feb 12-16 2018||415||492||230||264|
|Mar 12-16 2018||421||503||237||282|
|Apr 9-13 2018||427||510||241||275|
|May 7-11 2018||431||512||241||276|
|Jun 4-8 2018||440||503||241||276|
|Jul 2-6 2018||443||505||242||279|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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