OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail prices for all eight major fertilizers were higher the fourth week of January 2021, with prices for five fertilizers up a significant amount, which DTN designates as 5% or more, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.
Urea led the way to the upside and was 10% higher compared to last month with an average price of $405 per ton, a gain of $38. It also marks the first time that urea has been above the $400/ton level in two years.
Also higher was MAP, which was 8% more expensive from last month. The phosphorus fertilizer had an average price of $580/ton, up $43.
Two fertilizers were 6% higher than last month. UAN28 had an average price of $220/ton, up $18, while 10-34-0 was at $489/ton, up $25.
DAP was 5% higher compared to last month. The phosphorus fertilizer had an average price of $500/ton, $25 more than last month. This marks the first time DAP has been at or above the $500/ton level since the third week of April 2019, when the fertilizer's price was at $504/ton.
The remaining three fertilizers were also higher, but just not as much. Potash had an average price of $379/ton, up $13; anhydrous $489/ton, up $19; and UAN32 $258/ton, up $8.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, a 2-cent gain from last month; anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, unchanged; UAN28 $0.39/lb.N, unchanged; and UAN32 $0.40/lb.N, up 1 cent.
The run-up in retail fertilizer prices over the last several months has mainly to do with the amount of fertilizer that was applied this fall, according to Bob Spratt, manager of LeRoy Fertilizer Services located in LeRoy, Illinois. Replacement prices have come in higher than last fall.
"The run-up is due to the supply chain being drawn down due to the big (application) last fall," Spratt told DTN.
The weather in central Illinois, as it was across the Corn Belt, was extremely cooperative for fall fertilizer application. Thus, many tons of fertilizer were applied in the window after harvest and before the beginning of winter.
Also playing a factor in higher retail fertilizer prices is the rally in grain prices. Retail fertilizer tends to follow corn prices higher once a rally starts.
Spratt said the short-term price trend in retail fertilizers is mainly steady to higher.
"I would say, like fuel, fertilizer prices are 'sticky downward' and will probably stay at or near the current levels," he said.
With retail fertilizer prices moving higher over recent months, most fertilizers are now higher in price from a year ago, but there are a couple exceptions. Both potash and anhydrous are now 1% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 5% higher, urea is 13% more expensive, DAP is 21% higher and MAP is 33% more expensive compared to last year.
Only two fertilizers are still lower compared to last year. UAN32 is 6% lower, while UAN28 is 7% less expensive.
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.
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