DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Continue to Hold Steady

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The average retail price of urea continues to trend above the five-year average. While prices dropped $5/ton from last month, to $430/ton, it's still 18% higher than at the same time last year. (DTN Chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the third week of July 2019 show prices continue to be mixed, but more fertilizers had slightly lower prices than higher prices compared to last month.

Five fertilizers were lower compared to the previous month with none down a significant amount, which DTN considers 5% or more. MAP had an average price of $532/ton, down less than $1; urea $430/ton, down $5; 10-34-0 $584/ton, down $2; anhydrous $585/ton, down $4; and UAN32 $317/ton, down $1.

Three fertilizers were slightly higher compared to last month, but again the move higher was fairly slight. DAP had an average price of $497/ton, up $1; potash $392/ton, up less than $1; and UAN28 $275/ton, up $5.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.47/lb.N, anhydrous $0.36/lb.N, UAN28 $0.49/lb.N and UAN32 $0.50/lb.N.

I often find it interesting to take a closer look at retail fertilizer price changes within the last year. Some years there can be large differences in prices looking back three, six and nine months, but this is not one of these years.

One feature of the retail fertilizer prices in recent months is how steady they've been. The largest price move over the last nine months was anhydrous with an $86/ton gain.

The nitrogen fertilizer had an average retail price nine months ago (third week of October 2018) of $499/ton. Last week the price was at $584/ton, a difference of $86/ton. The price six months ago (third week of January 2019) was at $584/ton, only a $1/ton difference, and three months ago (the third week of April 2019) the price was at $594/ton, which was only a $9/ton difference.

The fertilizer with the least price difference in the past year was MAP.

The phosphorous fertilizer price was $532/ton last week, and nine months ago the average price was $518/ton, just $14/ton less. Six months ago, the average price was $535/ton, a $3/ton difference, and three months ago the price was $531/ton, just a $1/ton difference.

Seven of the eight major fertilizer had prices mostly lower looking back at those intervals. The only fertilizer with higher prices looking back at all three time frames was DAP.

DAP's average price last week was at $497/ton, but nine months ago it was $498/ton, just a $1/ton difference. Six months ago the price was $512/ton, a difference of $15/ton, and at three months ago the price was $504/ton, a difference of $7/ton.

While $86/ton can certainly add to farmers' total fertilizer costs, it is not as bad as the hundreds-of-dollars per ton differences we have seen in the past. The fact there was no move higher than $100 shows just how steady retail fertilizer prices have been the last nine months.

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. DAP is 2% higher, MAP is 5% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 10% higher, potash is 11% more expensive, both UAN28 and UAN32 are now 14% higher, anhydrous is 16% more expensive and urea is 18% higher 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.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Jul 16-20 2018 486 505 354 366
Aug 13-17 2018 487 508 356 363
Sep 10-14 2018 491 518 362 380
Oct 8-12 2018 501 523 365 393
Nov 5-9 2018 506 529 368 407
Dec 3-7 2018 501 529 369 410
Dec 31-Jan 4 2019 508 533 381 407
Jan 28-Feb 1 2019 513 536 384 407
Feb 25-Mar 01 2019 511 535 386 404
Mar 25-29 2019 509 534 385 401
Apr 22-26 2019 497 530 388 408
May 20-24 2019 497 527 392 428
Jun 17-21 2019 496 532 392 435
Jul 15-19, 2019 497 532 392 430
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Jul 16-20 2018 442 503 243 279
Aug 13-17 2018 446 481 233 271
Sep 10-14 2018 449 487 238 278
Oct 8-12 2018 452 488 238 280
Nov 5-9 2018 458 517 245 287
Dec 3-7 2018 457 524 249 293
Dec 31-Jan 4 2019 460 571 267 304
Jan 28-Feb 1 2019 468 585 271 313
Feb 25-Mar 01 2019 470 596 270 318
Mar 25-29 2019 470 597 269 318
Apr 22-26 2019 483 594 268 315
May 20-24 2019 487 595 270 314
Jun 17-21 2019 487 589 270 318
Jul 15-19, 2019 485 585 275 317

Russ Quinn can be reached at russ.quinn@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(KD/CZ)

Russ Quinn