DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Quiet as Farmers Wait to Make Purchases for Next Year

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Retail potash prices are up $2 from last month at $394 per ton. It's $38 per ton higher than at the same time last year, an increase of 11%. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices made very minor moves in the fourth week of July, according to prices tracked by DTN, with none of the prices changing by more than $3 per ton.

Three 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 $531/ton, down less than $1; 10-34-0 $485/ton, down $2; and anhydrous $582/ton, also down $2.

Five fertilizers were slightly higher compared to last month, but again, the move higher was fairly small. DAP had an average price of $495/ton, up less than $1; potash $394/ton, up $2; urea $430/ton, up $1; UAN28 $272/ton, up $3; and UAN32 $320/ton, up $2.

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.

DTN recently ran this poll question asking about fertilizer purchases: "Some farmers will lock in their fertilizer needs in mid-summer, for either next fall and/or the following spring. What best describes your fertilizer purchasing plan this summer?"

An overwhelming 62% of the 241 total responses chose the answer "Not going to purchase fertilizer anytime soon."

The next most popular answer, "Going to purchase fertilizer in a couple of months," received 19% of the vote, followed by "Going to purchase fertilizer in the next month" at 12%.

Only 5% answered "Already purchased all of my fertilizer needs," and 2% said "Already purchased some of my fertilizer needs."

While the answers aren't surprising given the current level of retail fertilizer prices, I was a little surprised so few (2%) responded with the option of already purchased some of my fertilizer needs.

This could be because of the fact crop margins are still tight and producers don't want to spend money on next year's crop when they aren't done spending money on this year's crops. Or maybe it's because farmers believe fertilizer prices will decline some before the next crop.

Maybe it is a little bit of both. Regardless, it will be interesting to see if producers begin to lock in some of their fertilizer in the coming weeks and/or months.

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher. DAP is 2% higher, MAP is 5% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 10% higher, potash is 11% more expensive, UAN28 is 12% higher, UAN32 is 15% more expensive, anhydrous is 16% higher and urea is 18% 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.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Jul 23-27 2018 486 504 356 366
Aug 20-24 2018 487 514 356 364
Sep 17-21 2018 494 520 362 384
Oct 15-19 2018 498 518 365 405
Nov 12-16 2018 500 530 368 407
Dec 10-14 2018 505 533 375 407
Jan 7-11 2019 508 533 381 407
Feb 4-8 2019 511 536 385 408
Mar 4-8 2019 510 534 386 403
Apr 1-5 2019 509 533 386 405
Apr 29-May 3 2019 498 528 390 413
May 27-31 2019 497 527 392 430
Jun 24-28, 2019 495 531 392 429
Jul 22-26 2019 495 531 394 430
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Jul 23-27 2018 442 501 243 279
Aug 20-24 2018 446 481 233 271
Sep 17-21 2018 448 494 239 278
Oct 15-19 2018 457 494 243 283
Nov 12-16 2018 457 519 245 287
Dec 10-14 2018 455 552 261 302
Jan 7-11 2019 461 573 267 304
Feb 4-8 2019 470 596 271 318
Mar 4-8 2019 470 596 270 317
Apr 1-5 2019 474 599 272 319
Apr 29-May 3 2019 487 595 268 315
May 27-31 2019 487 590 270 314
Jun 24-28, 2019 487 584 269 318
Jul 22-26 2019 485 582 272 320

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(KD/AG)

Russ Quinn