DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Half of Retail Fertilizer Price Move Higher, Other Half Heads Lower

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The retail price for anhydrous is virtually unchanged from last month, but at $490/ton, it's 18% cheaper than at this time last year and well below the five-year average. (DTN Chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices are mixed, according to prices tracked by DTN in the first week of March, 2020.

For the first time in several months, prices split down the middle, with half coming in higher and half lower.

Four fertilizers were lower in price compared to last month but none were down a substantial amount, which DTN considers a price move of 5% or more. DAP had an average price of $409/ton, down $4; MAP $432/ton, down $3; potash $369/ton, down $4; and anhydrous $490/ton, down fractionally.

The other four fertilizers, meanwhile, had a slight price increase, looking back to last month. Urea had an average price of $369/ton, up $8; 10-34-0 $466/ton, up $2; UAN28 $235/ton and UAN32 $277/ton, both up fractionally.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.43/lb.N.

With the calendar turning over to March, farmers are finishing up their fertilizer plans as spring planting season rapidly approaches. Some have already started spring applications.

Quentin Bowen, a farmer from Humboldt, Nebraska, said he was able to get most of his anhydrous applied last fall. Harvest wrapped up the day before Thanksgiving, and the weather was cooperative well into December, which allowed him to apply anhydrous, repair terraces, grid soil sample and lime some fields.

"After heading into last spring with nothing applied and trying to do it all in the middle of April when we should have been planting, this season seems more normal," Bowen told DTN.

He purchased roughly 20% of his anhydrous needs last summer, and then bought the rest in December. He estimated there was only a $10/ton increase in price between the two purchases.

Bowen was busy last week on his southeastern Nebraska farm applying dry fertilizer as conditions allowed for some field work in early March. He booked dry fertilizer in September 2019, he said.

He is prepared in case the cooperative weather changes this spring, but things are "so far so good" early in the growing season, he said.

Retail fertilizers are now all lower in price from a year ago. DAP is 20% lower, MAP is 19% less expensive, anhydrous is 18% lower, both UAN28 and UAN32 are 13% less expensive, urea is 9% lower, potash is 4% less expensive and 10-34-0 is 1% lower from last year at this time.

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
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
Dec 9-13 2019 445 463 378 380
Jan 6-10 2020 435 444 375 358
Feb 3-7 2020 413 435 373 361
Mar 2-6 2020 409 432 369 369
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Dec 9-13 2019 470 489 241 276
Jan 6-10 2020 471 486 237 272
Feb 3-7 2020 464 490 235 277
Mar 2-6 2020 466 490 235 277

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(KD/BAS)

Russ Quinn