DTN Fertilizer Trends

Poll: Cost, Relationships Trump Origin in Fertilizer Choices

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The average retail urea price increased $4 from last month at $388/ton. That's 9% lower than at the same time last year. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer price moves continued to be mixed in a narrow range the second week of May 2020, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

This marks the sixth consecutive week prices have not moved a significant amount, which DTN designates as 5% in either direction.

Five fertilizers were higher in price compared to last month, but again, there were no notable moves. DAP has an average price of $413/ton, up $3; urea $388/ton, up $4; 10-34-0 $468/ton, up less than $1; UAN28 $237/ton, up $1; and UAN32 $280/ton, up $1.

The remaining three fertilizers had a slightly lower price, with all declining by less than $1/ton. MAP had an average price of $433/ton, potash $370/ton, and anhydrous $492/ton.

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

A recent DTN 360 poll asked farmers whether they consider a fertilizer's country of origin before they purchase it.

The question was: "Fertilizer supplies are increasingly becoming international and subject to trade and other issues. A U.S. fertilizer supplier has asked DTN/Progressive Farmer to survey our readers on the subject. Do you take into consideration whether fertilizers come from North American sources before buying? Which response best fits your opinion?"

With 236 total responses, 43% chose "No, I don't care where the fertilizers were manufactured, I buy most supplies from a specific retailer(s) and use what they stock." Another 35% answered "No, I don't care where my fertilizers were manufactured, I buy on price."

Sixteen percent responded "Yes, I would prefer to buy North American fertilizer but find those difficult to locate." Only 6% said "Yes, I try to buy only North American-produced fertilizers."

While I think it was an interesting question of a fertilizer supplier to ask our readers, the results, however, were not that surprising, at least not to me.

I would have guessed most farmers really did not care where the fertilizer they use was manufactured. Other factors, such as retail price and service from their fertilizer retailer(s), would have been much more important to them than where it was manufactured.

Those who answered the poll question were pretty clear: 78% of respondents saying they don't really care where the fertilizer was manufactured. Thanks to all who took part in our poll question.

All eight retail fertilizers are lower in price from a year ago. MAP is now 18% lower, both DAP and anhydrous are 17% less expensive, UAN28 is 11% lower, UAN32 is 10% less expensive, urea is 9% lower, potash is 6% lower and 10-34-0 is 4% less expensive 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
May 6-10 2019 501 527 391 418
Jun 3-7 2019 497 527 392 434
Jul 1-5, 2019 498 532 392 432
Jul 29-Aug 2 2019 494 530 393 428
Aug 26-30 2019 491 494 387 412
Sep 23-27, 2019 479 475 384 404
Oct 21-25, 2019 465 473 383 404
Nov 18-22 2019 456 466 381 387
Dec 16-20 2019 444 460 378 377
Jan 13-17 2020 433 444 375 357
Feb 10-14 2020 413 435 373 361
Mar 9-13 2020 407 432 370 377
Apr 6-10 2020 409 434 370 382
May 4-8 2020 413 433 370 388
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
May 6-10 2019 487 595 267 310
Jun 3-7 2019 487 591 271 314
Jul 1-5, 2019 482 584 276 317
Jul 29-Aug 2 2019 486 580 272 320
Aug 26-30 2019 470 528 256 290
Sep 23-27, 2019 471 511 254 289
Oct 21-25, 2019 471 507 251 291
Nov 18-22 2019 472 496 245 284
Dec 16-20 2019 469 487 239 276
Jan 13-17 2020 470 487 237 275
Feb 10-14 2020 464 490 235 277
Mar 9-13 2020 466 490 235 278
Apr 6-10 2020 468 492 235 278
May 4-8 2020 468 492 237 280

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

Russ Quinn