DTN Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Continue to Trend Lower

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The average retail price of UAN32 dropped $10/ton this week to $263/ton, the largest decline of the eight major fertilizers tracked by DTN. UAN32 prices are 17% below where they were at this time last year. (DTN Chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continue to trend mostly lower, according to prices tracked by DTN for the second week of July 2020.

Two fertilizers had prices that were slightly higher last week, which breaks a five-week run of all eight major fertilizers being lower compared to previous month.

Six of the eight major fertilizers are lower looking back to last month, but none were down a significant amount, which DTN designates as 5% or more. MAP has an average price of $428/ton, down $1; potash $361/ton, down $2; urea $359/ton, down $1; anhydrous $460/ton, down $4; UAN28 $225/ton, down $8; and UAN32 $263/ton, down $10.

Two fertilizers were slightly higher compared to last month, but again the move to the high side was fairly slight. DAP had an average price of $406/ton, up $1, while 10-34-0 was at $468/ton, up less than $1.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.28/lb.N, UAN28 $0.40/lb.N and UAN32 $0.41/lb.N.

With global fertilizer prices at or near 10-year lows, the fertilizer price outlook calls for continued lower prices, according to a semi-annual global fertilizer outlook report published by RaboResearch Food and Agribusiness last week.

There are a number of factors pressuring North American fertilizer prices, particularly the outlooks for nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potash (K).

The most important question facing the global N market in the coming months is when will the world need Chinese exports. Despite a 20% reduction of coal prices in China over the last 12 months, current production levels are still high when compared with the 2015/16 period.

What happens with India N producers will also affect the world market.

"After some cutbacks in 2019, Indian suppliers are expected to increase ammonia and urea production this year to meet domestic demand," the RaboResearch report said. "As a result, the major urea importer should reduce its dependency on international markets."

The outlook finds that the cost of producing phosphorus fertilizer will be lower as sulphur prices have leveled off below the five-year average.

The price outlook of P, however, will depend on local factors, according to the report.

"The short-term outlook is likely to vary across regions, with price volatility risks linked to any potential scarcity in local markets or disruption to shipping, particularly as we head into the window of market restocking and a second wave of COVID-19," the report said.

Potash prices are expected to be influenced by supply contracts in China and India as potash importers in South America and Southeast Asia begin buying as their main demand season approaches. Potash prices in these regions are expected to stabilize slightly above those locked in contracts.

The economic crisis has pressured commodity prices, especially ones related to energy. If this situation doesn't change in the next quarter, potash demand could take a hit, according to the report.

"Thus, the oversupply situation may push prices down again," the report said.

Retail fertilizers are all lower in price from a year ago. Anhydrous is 21% lower, MAP is 20% less expensive, UAN28 is 19% lower, DAP is 18% less expensive, both urea and UAN32 are 17% lower, potash is 8% less expensive 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.

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
Jul 13-17 2020406428361359
Date Range10-34-0ANHYDUAN28UAN32
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
Jul 13-17 2020468460225263

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

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Russ Quinn