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.

Sep 2-6 2019491488387408
Sep 30-Oct 4, 2019476474384404
Oct 28-Nov 1 2019464472383402
Nov 25-29 2019456465381386
Dec 23-27 2019443454377378
Jan 20-24 2020413435374357
Feb 17-21 2020410435373361
Mar 16-20 2020408433370382
Apr 13-17 2020410433370384
May 11-15 2020413433370388
Jun 8-12 2020406430363367
Jul 6-10 2020405427360360
Aug 3-7 2020416430357354
Aug 31-Sep 4 2020431442348361
Date Range10-34-0ANHYDUAN28UAN32
Sep 2-6 2019473522255290
Sep 30-Oct 4, 2019470511253289
Oct 28-Nov 1 2019468503251291
Nov 25-29 2019472497245277
Dec 23-27 2019469488240276
Jan 20-24 2020470487237275
Feb 17-21 2020464490235277
Mar 16-20 2020466491235278
Apr 13-17 2020468492236279
May 11-15 2020468492237280
Jun 8-12 2020468472235276
Jul 6-10 2020467461233272
Aug 3-7 2020465455222262
Aug 31-Sep 4 2020459436216254

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

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Russ Quinn