DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Anhydrous Breaks $800 Per Ton as Fertilizer Prices Soar

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The average retail price of anhydrous increased 7% this week to $803/ton, the highest since July 2013. The nitrogen fertilizer is 89% more expensive than at this time last year. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) --- According to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the first week of October 2021, nearly all of the major fertilizers were up a sizeable amount. DTN designates a move of 5% or higher as a significant increase or decrease.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers recorded a considerable move higher compared to last month.

Potash and urea led the way, with both up 17% compared to last month. Potash had an average price of $675/ton, while urea was at $653/ton.

MAP was 10% more expensive from the prior month. The phosphorus fertilizer had an average price of $829/ton.

Both UAN28 and UAN32 were 8% higher compared to last month. UAN28 had an average price of $400/ton while UAN32 was at $456/ton.

UAN28 crossed the $400/ton level for the first time since the second week of May 2013. That week the price was $400/ton as well.

Anhydrous is 7% more expensive compared to a month prior. The nitrogen fertilizer has an average price of $803/ton.

Anhydrous broke through the $800/ton level for the first time since the second week of July 2013. That week the average price was $809/ton.

DAP is 5% higher looking back a month. The phosphorus fertilizer had an average price of $736/ton.

The remaining fertilizer, 10-34-0, was just slightly higher compared to last month. Starter fertilizer had an average price of $639/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.71/lb.N, anhydrous $0.49/lb.N, UAN28 $0.71/lb.N and UAN32 $0.71/lb.N.

Questions about fertilizer supply and increasing retail prices are pushing both retailers and farmers to work together to assure product is available for both the fall and spring application seasons.

Kenny Reinke, who farms from near Neligh, Nebraska, told DTN his local regional cooperative contacted him last week to tell him there are supply issues, and UAN32 prices were considerably more expense than last winter. In a week, the price climbed more than $100/ton.

"As of now, I'm taking the wait-and-see approach but I'm very close to pulling the trigger on a percentage of needs, unfortunately," said Reinke, who did lock in some starter fertilizer already.

Reinke said his retailer didn't put limits on how much a fertilizer could purchase, but instead was encouraging farmers to put some money down or risk not having any next spring, he said.

Farmers in his area of northeastern Nebraska might cut back on phosphorus and potash applications this growing season because of high fertilizer prices. The line has to be drawn somewhere, and Reinke said demand is going to have to pull back to help get these high prices in check.

Further east, farmer Wayne Martin said he, too, already bought some his fertilizer needs for the 2022 growing season. The Shelby, Iowa, farmer bought some UAN28 for next spring as well as ammonium thiosulfate about a month ago.

"The price of 28% was nearly double of a year ago," Martin said.

Martin will apply all of his fertilizer in the spring as part of his all-liquid fertilizer program. He is trying to feed the plants, not build large amounts of nutrients in the soils of his southwest Iowa farm, he said.

Martin said his retailer told him to buy now or pay more for the fertilizer later because prices are going one way, and that way is up.

In addition, his retailer checked higher up the supply chain for other liquid products, and the answer he got was retail prices for those fertilizer products would be out late fall or early winter, he said.

Retail fertilizer prices compared to a year ago show all fertilizers have increased significantly.

10-34-0 is now 40% more expensive, DAP is 67% higher, MAP is 78% more expensive, urea is 81% higher, UAN32 is 83% more expensive, anhydrous is 89% higher, UAN28 91% is more expensive and potash is 101% higher compared to last year.

DTN surveys more than 300 retailers, gathering roughly 1,700 fertilizer price bids, to compile the DTN Fertilizer Index each week. In addition to national averages, MyDTN subscribers can access the full DTN Fertilizer Index, which includes state averages, here: https://www.mydtn.com/….

Record or near-record retail fertilizer prices could be present through the spring, according to a North Dakota State University Extension specialist. You can read it here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….

Oct 5-9 2020 441 466 335 361
Nov 2-6 2020 447 479 331 358
Nov 30-Dec 4 2020 455 499 340 359
Dec 28-Jan 1 2021 475 537 366 367
Jan 25-29 2021 500 580 379 405
Feb 22-26 2021 605 661 408 464
Mar 22-26 2021 616 696 428 499
Apr 19-23 2021 627 703 432 510
May 17-21 2021 642 708 440 521
Jun 14-18 2021 661 719 454 531
Jul 12-16 2021 693 730 501 550
Aug 9-13 2021 695 755 563 555
Sep 6-10 2021 699 757 575 558
Oct 4-8 2021 736 829 675 653
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Oct 5-9 2020 457 424 209 250
Nov 2-6 2020 455 423 208 248
Nov 30-Dec 4 2020 459 427 208 249
Dec 28-Jan 1 2021 464 470 209 250
Jan 25-29 2021 489 489 220 258
Feb 22-26 2021 532 544 250 296
Mar 22-26 2021 599 684 335 376
Apr 19-23 2021 612 707 348 391
May 17-21 2021 620 716 361 407
Jun 14-18 2021 621 719 365 414
Jul 12-16 2021 624 725 368 418
Aug 9-13 2021 630 740 366 418
Sep 6-10 2021 631 750 371 422
Oct 4-8 2021 639 803 400 456

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

Follow him on Twitter at @RussQuinnDTN

Russ Quinn