DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Sink for 9th Consecutive Week

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Anhydrous prices have dropped precipitously since early August, and farmers are starting to lock in prices. The average retail price of anhydrous was $509/ton in the second week of October, 2019, only 4% higher than at the same time last year. (DTN Chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the second week of October, 2019, continue to be slightly lower. Prices have moved lower for nine straight weeks.

All eight fertilizers were once again lower in price compared to last month. As with the last few weeks, no fertilizer was down a significant amount, which DTN designates as 5% or more.

DAP had an average price of $472/ton, down $14; MAP $473/ton, down $9; potash $383/ton, down $2; urea $403/ton, down $4; 10-34-0 $470/ton, down $1; anhydrous $509/ton, down $7; UAN28 $253/ton and UAN32 $289/ton, both down less than $1.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.45/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.

As retail fertilizer prices have dropped in recent months, farmers are considering purchasing fertilizer. In certain cases, some farmers have already bought nutrients.

Wayne Martin, who farms near Shelby, Iowa, told DTN he purchased his spring UAN28 needs roughly three weeks ago. The price was lower than he paid last year, he said.

"Last year's prices was attractive, so this year being lower was an easy decision to jump and get it bought," Martin said. "My retailer thought this price would be the best of all season."

Martin will most likely purchase some liquid phosphorus (P) and liquid potash (K) after harvest to be applied next spring.

Another southwest Iowa farmer who bought some fertilizer was Mike Carlson. The Red Oak, Iowa, farmer said he already has booked his anhydrous needs for the 2020 crop.

With the late start to harvest in the region, most of this fertilizer could end being applied in the spring, unless there's an unexpected wide fertilizer application season this fall.

"I haven't seen lower prices at the local coop," Carlson told DTN. "They're about the same (price) as last year."

As for P and K, Carlson said he will apply these nutrients in the dry form either in the fall or the spring, weather permitting. He will buy these nutrients as he needs them and will go with the cheapest supplier, he said.

With prices significantly lower in recent months, two fertilizers' prices dropped to being lower in price from a year ago. MAP is now 10% less expensive and DAP is 6% lower from last year at this time.

The remaining six major fertilizers continue to be slightly higher compared to last year. Both UAN32 and urea are 3% more expensive, both anhydrous and 10-34-0 are 4% higher, potash is 5% more expensive and UAN28 is 6% 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
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
Aug 12-16 2019 493 503 387 413
Sep 9-13 2019 486 482 385 407
Oct 7-11, 2019 472 473 383 403
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Aug 12-16 2019 475 543 258 295
Sep 9-13 2019 471 516 253 289
Oct 7-11, 2019 470 509 253 289

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(KD/CZ)

Russ Quinn