DTN Fertilizer Trends

Urea, Anhydrous Lead Retail Fertilizer Prices Lower

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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After a $27/ton decline from last month, retail urea prices came in at $360/ton. Urea prices are 17% lower than they were at the same time last year. (DTN Chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continue to be lower, according to prices tracked by DTN for the third week of June 2020. This marks the second week in a row that all eight major fertilizers are lower compared to last month.

Nitrogen fertilizers are leading the way lower. Urea is down $27/ton, or 7%, from last month with an average price of $360/ton. Anhydrous is 5% lower with an average price of $464/ton, a drop of $26/ton. DTN considers a price move to be significant if it's over 5%.

The remaining six fertilizer are slightly lower. DAP has an average price of $405/ton, down $4; MAP $429/ton, down $5; potash $363/ton, down $4; 10-34-0 $468/ton, down $1; UAN28 $233/ton, down $4; and UAN32 $273/ton, down $7.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.28/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.43/lb.N.

In a report titled "Essential Fertilizers Ride the Coronavirus Storm," Julia Meehan, Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS) Managing Editor, Fertilizers, wrote about the effects COVID-19 has had on the global fertilizer market. For the most part, the industry has seem limited effects from the pandemic.

With the COVID-19 pandemic starting in China, that country saw the first impact in terms of cuts to fertilizer production as well as transportation. The biggest impact was on phosphoric acid, which is used to produce phosphate.

"As China has eased its way out of the lockdown, the flow of all fertilizer has recovered very quickly and life is getting back to normal again," Meehan wrote.

As the virus spread around the world, many countries started to feel the full impact during a time when much fertilizer was being applied, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, she wrote. While there was some pressure on pricing in April and May, the fertilizer sector did not see sharp declines like those in the gas, oil and petrochemicals sector.

"Fertilizer makers have benefited from cheap feed and energy costs, meaning that even marginal producers have continued to operate, and the markets have not felt any shortness of availability," she wrote.

Meehan wrote the outlook for the global fertilizer market remains uncertain amid concerns of a second wave of the virus and what it could mean to the industry. Currency fluctuations, political unrest and high levels of unemployment in both developed and developing nations will have an impact in the months and years ahead.

The good news is the world will need to be fed, and the fertilizer industry will continue to be deemed essential, she wrote.

Retail fertilizers are all lower in price from a year ago. Anhydrous is 21% lower, MAP is 19% less expensive, DAP is 18% down, urea is 17% lower, both UAN28 and UAN32 are 14% less expensive, potash is 7% lower and 10-34-0 is 4% 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.

Jun 17-21 2019496532392435
Jul 15-19, 2019497532392430
Aug 12-16 2019493503387413
Sep 9-13 2019486482385407
Oct 7-11, 2019472473383403
Nov 4-8 2019462471384396
Dec 2-6 2019445463379381
Dec 30-Jan 3 2020438446376363
Jan 27-31 2020414435373359
Feb 24-28 2020409434371366
Mar 23-27 2020409434370382
Apr 20-24 2020410433370385
May 18-22 2020409434367387
Jun 15-19 2020405429363360
Date Range10-34-0ANHYDUAN28UAN32
Jun 17-21 2019487589270318
Jul 15-19, 2019485585275317
Aug 12-16 2019475543258295
Sep 9-13 2019471516253289
Oct 7-11, 2019470509253289
Nov 4-8 2019473499249289
Dec 2-6 2019470490242276
Dec 30-Jan 3 2020470487238273
Jan 27-31 2020467488237275
Feb 24-28 2020466490235277
Mar 23-27 2020466491235278
Apr 20-24 2020468492236279
May 18-22 2020469490237280
Jun 15-19 2020468464233273

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

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Russ Quinn