DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Mostly Lower at Start of 2020

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The average retail price of urea was down 5%, compared to last month, at $363 per ton. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail prices for most fertilizers continued their lower trend during the week including the last two days of 2019 and first few days of 2020, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers were lower in price compared to a month earlier. This broke a streak of five weeks in which all eight were lower.

Only one fertilizer was down a significant amount. Urea was down 5% compared to last month and had an average price of $363 per ton.

Six fertilizers had slight price declines from the previous month. DAP had an average price of $438/ton, MAP $446/ton, potash $376/ton, anhydrous $487/ton, UAN28 $238/ton and UAN32 $273/ton.

The remaining fertilizer, 10-34-0, had a minor price increase from a month ago. The starter fertilizer had an average price of $470 per ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.43/lb.N.

As the calendar turns from 2019 to 2020, I thought it would be interesting to compare 2020 crop budgets to 2019 budgets and see where they had fertilizer prices pegged. Purdue University Extension's 2020 crop budget was put together in November 2019, so considering prices have continued to drop since then, the fertilizer price estimate could be even lower now.

The 2020 Purdue Crop Cost and Return Guide has fertilizer costs for corn production for average-productivity soils in continuous corn at $127 per acre, rotation corn at $116/acre, rotation soybeans $47/acre, wheat $74/acre and double-crop beans at $35/acre. This compares to the 2019 crop cost and return guide, done in December 2018, for average-productivity soils continuous corn at $137/acre, rotation corn at $126/acre, rotation soybeans at $51/acre, wheat at $81/acre and double-crop soybeans at $38/acre.

The difference between 2020 and 2019 crops budgets would be: for continuous corn -$10/acre, rotation corn -$10/acre, rotation soybeans -$4/acre, wheat -$7/acre and double-crop soybeans -$3/acre.

This is really not surprising given the direction of retail fertilizer prices during 2019. We saw price decreases during the year but no huge drops, so these slightly lower fertilizer estimates for the 2020 crop seems to be about right.

The 2020 Purdue Crop Cost and Return Guide can be found at https://ag.purdue.edu/….The 2019 Purdue Crop Cost and Return Guide can found at https://ag.purdue.edu/….

Retail fertilizers are mixed in price from a year ago. MAP is 16% lower, anhydrous is 15% less expensive, DAP is 14% lower, urea and UAN28 are both 11% less expensive, UAN32 is 10% lower and potash is 1% less expensive from last year at this time. In addition, 10-34-0 is 2% 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
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
Nov 4-8 2019 462 471 384 396
Dec 2-6 2019 445 463 379 381
Dec 30-Jan 3 2020 438 446 376 363
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Nov 4-8 2019 473 499 249 289
Dec 2-6 2019 470 490 242 276
Dec 30-Jan 3 2020 470 487 238 273

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(AG/CZ)

Russ Quinn