DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Nitrogen Fertilizers Lead Prices on Slow Grind Lower

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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At $496 per ton, the average retail price of anhydrous is nearly $100 per ton less expensive than it was last spring. (DTN Chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continued to grind lower the second week of November 2019, following four months of similar price moves, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers were lower in price compared to the previous month. While none were down a significant amount, which DTN considers a price change of 5% or more, anhydrous prices dropped below $500 per ton for the first time in more than a year.

DAP had an average price of $457 per ton, down $8; MAP $465/ton, down $7; potash $382/ton, down less than $1; urea $388/ton, down $14; anhydrous $496/ton, down $11; UAN28 $246/ton, down $7; and UAN32 $284/ton, down $5.

The remaining fertilizer, 10-34-0, had an average price of $473/ton, a $2/ton increase from last month.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.42/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

With retail fertilizer prices falling in recent months, I thought it would be interesting to take look back to the retail price six months ago. We take a look back 12 months at the end of the column every week, and I thought maybe splitting this number in half would create some interesting data.

Six months ago takes us back to the second week of May, right in the heart of spring planting season. Anhydrous had the largest price difference compared to the current price of $496/ton. That is down $99/ton from May when it was at $595/ton.

It's really not a surprise anhydrous would have the largest decrease in price since it's the fertilizer that tends to change the most as demand strengthens and weakens.

The next fertilizer with the largest difference was MAP. The phosphorous fertilizer had a retail price of $526/ton in May and $465/ton last week, so it is now down $61/ton. DAP had an average price of $498/ton back in May and $457/ton this week, a drop of $41/ton.

Urea's average price last week was $388/ton and in May was $426/ton, a drop of $38/ton. UAN32 was at $284/ton last week and $311/ton back in May, a decline of $27/ton, while UAN28 was at $246/ton last week and $267/ton back in May, down $21/ton.

The fertilizer with the smallest price change over this six-month range was potash. Last week, the average price was $382/ton and in May it was at $392/ton, a drop of just $10/ton.

Like anhydrous having the largest price decline, I would have bet that potash (or maybe 10-34-0) would have had the smallest drop. These two fertilizers' prices really don't move much.

Retail fertilizers are mixed in price from a year ago. MAP is now 12% less expensive, DAP is 9% lower, urea is 5% less expensive, anhydrous is 4% lower and UAN32 is 1% less expensive from last year at this time. UAN28 is 1% higher, 10-34-0 is 3% more expensive and potash is 4% 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
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
Aug 19-23 2019 491 495 387 413
Sep 16-20 2019 480 478 384 404
Oct 14-18, 2019 465 472 382 402
Nov 11-15 2019 457 465 382 388
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Aug 19-23 2019 475 530 257 291
Sep 16-20 2019 471 509 254 289
Oct 14-18, 2019 471 507 253 289
Nov 11-15 2019 473 496 246 284

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(KD/AG)

Russ Quinn