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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

TFI: Fertilizer Industry 'Essential'

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Urea was 6% more expensive in the third week of March compared to last month. (DTN graph)

OMAHA (DTN) -- According to retailers tracked by DTN, fertilizer prices for the third week of March 2020 are evenly mixed. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an effect on most everything in the world, even the fertilizer industry.

As has been the case in recent weeks, four fertilizers were lower compared to last month while the other four were higher. A new feature of the market last week, however, is the price of urea.

The nitrogen fertilizer was 6% more expensive compared to last month. The fertilizer's average price was $382/ton.

Three other fertilizers were higher in price compared to last month but none were up a considerable amount. 10-34-0 had an average price of $466/ton, anhydrous $491/ton and UAN32 $278/ton.

The remaining four fertilizers, meanwhile, had a slight price decrease compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $408/ton, MAP $433/ton, potash $370/ton and UAN28 $235/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.41/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

On Wednesday, March 18, The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) stated in a press release that it sent a letter to the president and Congressional leaders requesting the federal government recognize fertilizer and all agriculture inputs as "essential services" to ensure agriculture can remain operational. A few hours later, the fertilizer industry was designated an essential industry. Another TFI news release came out applauding leaders for this move.

Then on Monday March 23, TFI released another news release urging states to use The Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidance in designating fertilizer as an essential industry. Corey Rosenbusch, president and CEO of TFI, wrote he was requesting that the fertilizer supply chain be designated an "essential service" and "critical infrastructure" in order to ensure American agriculture could operate during spring planting.

"In order to ensure consistent approach across all 50 states and local governments, I respectfully request that you incorporate the CISA list into your state response plan and any critical shelter in place or shut down orders for your state allowing these workers, facilities and services to continue to operate and provide necessary input for the food supply chain," according to the news release.

Rosenbusch wrote the next six to eight weeks are critical to TFI's members and their farmer customers, as they will be conducting spring planting activities. The timely delivery of plant nutrients to American farmers is critical to their ability to produce food, fuel and fiber, according to the release.

The fertilizer industry relies on a safe and efficient transportation network, including rail carriers, ports, barges, pipelines and trucks to get plant nutrients to the farm. These products also move across the borders with Canada and Mexico as an important part of the fertilizer supply chain.

"While we are not aware of any prohibitions contemplated on interstate shipment of goods at this time, any such constraints could cripple the ability of our members to provide farmers with the fertilizers they need in a very limited planting window," the release said.

To read the entire TFI press release, go to https://www.tfi.org/….

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 5% 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 18-22 2019 509 533 386 401
Apr 15-19 2019 504 531 388 404
May 13-17 2019 498 526 392 426
Jun 10-14 2019 497 527 392 434
Jul 8-12, 2019 497 532 392 431
Aug 5-9 2019 495 531 395 428
Sep 2-6 2019 491 488 387 408
Sep 30-Oct 4, 2019 476 474 384 404
Oct 28-Nov 1 2019 464 472 383 402
Nov 25-29 2019 456 465 381 386
Dec 23-27 2019 443 454 377 378
Jan 20-24 2020 413 435 374 357
Feb 17-21 2020 410 435 373 361
Mar 16-20 2020 408 433 370 382
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Mar 18-22 2019 470 597 270 318
Apr 15-19 2019 481 594 270 317
May 13-17 2019 487 595 267 311
Jun 10-14 2019 487 591 271 314
Jul 8-12, 2019 485 585 276 317
Aug 5-9 2019 491 580 272 320
Sep 2-6 2019 473 522 255 290
Sep 30-Oct 4, 2019 470 511 253 289
Oct 28-Nov 1 2019 468 503 251 291
Nov 25-29 2019 472 497 245 277
Dec 23-27 2019 469 488 240 276
Jan 20-24 2020 470 487 237 275
Feb 17-21 2020 464 490 235 277
Mar 16-20 2020 466 491 235 278

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(SK/CZ)

Russ Quinn

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