OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continued to be mostly lower, led by urea, the third week of July 2022, according to sellers surveyed by DTN. This march to less expensive prices has been a market feature for two consecutive months now.
Once again, all but one of the eight major fertilizers are lower compared to last month, with only one fertilizer down substantially. DTN designates a significant move as anything 5% or more.
Urea was 7% lower compared to last month. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $836 per ton.
DAP had an average price of $1,007/ton, MAP $1,043/ton, 10-34-0 $894/ton, anhydrous $1,431/ton, UAN28 $598/ton and UAN28 $696/ton.
10-34-0 crossed the sub-$900/ton threshold for the first time since the fourth week of March 2022 when the price was $896/ton.
UAN28 dropped below $600/ton for the first time since the third week of January 2022, when the price was $585/ton. UAN32 dipped below the $700/ton mark for the first time since the third week of March 2022 when the price was $698/ton.
One fertilizer was slightly more expensive compared to last month. Potash had an average price of $887/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.91/lb.N, anhydrous $0.87/lb.N, UAN28 $1.07/lb.N and UAN32 $1.09/lb.N.
In a report posted at the University of Illinois farmdoc Daily e-newsletter titled "Weekly Farm Economics: Nitrogen Fertilizer Outlook for 2023 Decisions," both University of Illinois and Ohio State University ag economists examine current fertilizer prices (https://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/…).
Farmers who purchased fertilizer early for the 2022 growing season had much lower fertilizer prices. However, this same trajectory of buying early may not occur this year, and prices could even be lower by next spring.
Fertilizer prices have stabilized or even declined slightly since the Ukraine-Russia military conflict began. Grain markets have also stabilized during this time as well.
"Overall, the markets appear to have absorbed the impact of the Ukraine-Russia conflict," the report stated.
The authors said the two largest factors on where fertilizer prices are going in the near future are the natural gas price and corn prices.
In recent months, the natural gas price at Henry Hub has increased, reaching $8.14 per million BTUs in May and $7.70 in June, according to the report. Current corn prices point to relatively high nitrogen fertilizer prices, but they've been falling, which could point to the potential for further declines in nitrogen fertilizer price.
Farmers may want to wait to purchase nitrogen for the 2023 growing season, as prices could be lower come spring, considering the high levels they are currently at, the authors wrote. Whenever nitrogen is purchased, breakeven prices will be likely be much higher in 2023 -- near $5/bushel for corn and $11/bushel for soybeans.
"Continuing high fertilizer prices and increases in all production costs point to the need for high corn and soybean prices to remain positive," the report said.
Most fertilizers continue to be considerably higher in prices than one year earlier.
MAP is 39% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 41% higher, DAP is 45% more expensive, urea is 51% higher, potash is 63% more expensive, UAN28 is 64% higher, UAN32 is 66% more expensive and anhydrous is 95% higher compared to last year.
DTN gathers fertilizer price bids from agriculture retailers each week to compile the DTN Fertilizer Index. DTN first began reporting data in November 2008.
A recent poll by DTN showed 37% of respondents said they will not be purchasing fertilizer anytime soon. You can read it here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….
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Russ Quinn can be reached at Russ.Quinn@dtn.com
Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN
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