DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Retail Fertilizer Prices Posting Mixed Moves

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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At $254/ton, the average retail price of UAN32 is the lowest it's been in two years. It's also 11% below the 5-year average price for early September, which is $287/ton. (DTN Chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the first week of September 2020 are more mixed than in recent weeks. Five of the eight major fertilizers were lower, while the remaining three nutrients were higher.

Despite the more diversified prices, no fertilizer was up or down a significant amount, which DTN designates as 5% or more.

The fertilizers with lower values were potash with an average price of $348/ton, down $9; 10-34-0 $459/ton, down $6; anhydrous $436/ton, down $19; UAN28 $216/ton, down $6; and UAN32 $254/ton, down $8.

The three fertilizers that were slightly higher in price include DAP with an average price of $431/ton, up $15; MAP $442/ton, up $12; and urea $361/ton, up $7.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.27/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.40/lb.N.

A common farm business practice is locking in some fertilizer needs early. The reasons for doing this include believing the fertilizer market is at low price point and wanting to know the cost of at least one major crop expense for the next growing season.

Others, however, have a different business philosophy when it comes to pre-ordering their fertilizer needs. Clint Weyhrich, a farmer from Randolph, Nebraska, told DTN he does not pre-order his fertilizer.

He said he sat down and did some math and in most of the last 10 years ordering any inputs early doesn't save money unless you have the cash on hand. By putting it on an operating note, the interest can cost more money than the savings from buying fertilizer at a lower price, he said.

"They (his fertilizer retailers) wanted me to book early last year and I ended up saving $20/ton by buying the week I started planting," Weyhrich told DTN.

Weyhrich said about the only input he will buy early is corn seed. He does this pre-ordering mainly to assure he gets the hybrids he wants to plant.

"But even then I wait until after harvest," he said.

Retail fertilizer prices continue to be considerably lower in price from a year ago. Anhydrous is 17% lower; UAN28 is 15% less expensive; DAP, urea and UAN32 are all 12% lower; potash is 10% less expensive; MAP is 9% lower; and 10-34-0 is 3% 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
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
Apr 13-17 2020 410 433 370 384
May 11-15 2020 413 433 370 388
Jun 8-12 2020 406 430 363 367
Jul 6-10 2020 405 427 360 360
Aug 3-7 2020 416 430 357 354
Aug 31-Sep 4 2020 431 442 348 361
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Apr 13-17 2020 468 492 236 279
May 11-15 2020 468 492 237 280
Jun 8-12 2020 468 472 235 276
Jul 6-10 2020 467 461 233 272
Aug 3-7 2020 465 455 222 262
Aug 31-Sep 4 2020 459 436 216 254

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

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Russ Quinn