DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Most Fertilizer Prices Still Higher

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Anhydrous had an average price of $498 per ton the last week of July 2018. That's the first time since the first week of March 2018 the nitrogen fertilizer's price has been under $500. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued mostly higher the last week of July 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. However, for the first time in several weeks, multiple fertilizers did show slightly lower prices compared to a month ago.

Five of the eight major fertilizers were slightly higher than last month. DAP had an average price of $488 per ton, MAP $505/ton, potash $355/ton, urea $366/ton and 10-34-0 $443/ton.

Three fertilizers were slightly lower from the previous month. Anhydrous had an average price of $498 per ton, UAN28 $242/ton and UAN32 $279/ton.

One interesting thing to note is the price of anhydrous. The nitrogen fertilizer's price of $498 per ton was under $500 per ton for the first time since the first week of March 2018 when the price was $499 per ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.43/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

Since midsummer is when some farmers begin to lock in their fertilizer prices for the upcoming growing season, we thought it would be interesting to pick the brains of a few farmers to see what their nutrient-buying strategies are with fertilizer prices where they are currently. Not surprisingly, most are holding off locking in fertilizer at this time.

Joel Grams grows corn and soybeans near Minden, Nebraska. He said since he doesn't usually apply fertilizer in the fall, he hasn't thought much about his nutrient needs for the 2019 growing season, at least not yet.

"I haven't done anything with fertilizer, or even given it much thought yet," Grams told DTN.

Grams said he remains busy focusing on getting his 2018 crop to harvest on his south-central Nebraska farm.

Looking ahead to the next growing season, he said he has paid for some of his fertilizer needs in late winter in recent years. He locks in a price at that time and then pays some money down on the contract. Grams said he'll most likely do the same thing for the upcoming 2019 growing season.

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher in recent months. 10-34-0 is 4% higher, potash is 5% more expensive, UAN32 is 6% higher, UAN28 is 7% more expensive, MAP is 9% higher, DAP is 12% more expensive, urea is 18% higher and anhydrous is 19% more expensive compared to last year.

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.

DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Jul 31-Aug 4 2017 434 463 339 311
Aug 28-Sept 1 2017 433 457 338 303
Sep 15-29 2017 432 453 348 321
Oct 23-27 2017 431 453 347 325
Nov 20-24 2017 435 460 342 338
Dec 18-22 2017 445 485 344 348
Jan 15-19 2018 456 491 345 355
Feb 12-16 2018 457 495 345 357
Mar 12-16 2018 466 503 350 368
Apr 9-13 2018 482 504 353 369
May 7-11 2018 483 505 354 366
Jun 4-8 2018 484 505 354 364
Jul 2-6 2018 485 504 354 366
Jul 30- Aug 3 2018 488 505 355 366
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Jul 31-Aug 4 2017 426 418 227 262
Aug 28-Sept 1 2017 418 417 215 248
Sep 15-29 2017 413 396 208 243
Oct 23-27 2017 407 393 205 262
Nov 20-24 2017 403 410 216 272
Dec 18-22 2017 405 461 218 254
Jan 15-19 2018 407 485 226 260
Feb 12-16 2018 415 492 230 264
Mar 12-16 2018 421 503 237 282
Apr 9-13 2018 427 510 241 275
May 7-11 2018 431 512 241 276
Jun 4-8 2018 440 503 241 276
Jul 2-6 2018 443 505 242 279
Jul 30- Aug 3 2018 443 498 242 279

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(AG/CZ)

Russ Quinn