DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Remain Mostly Lower

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Urea's average price dropped to under $400/ton for the first time since the second week of October 2018 when the price was $396/ton. Urea and UAN28 prices are historically high compared to anhydrous. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- For the first week of November 2019, the majority of retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN continue to show lower prices compared to a month earlier.

Five of the eight major fertilizers were lower in price from a month earlier, although none were significantly lower. DAP had an average price of $462/ton, MAP $471/ton, urea $396/ton, anhydrous $499/ton and UAN28 $249/ton.

The remaining three fertilizers were slightly higher from last month. Potash had an average price of $384/ton, 10-34-0 $473/ton and UAN32 $289/ton.

Here are a couple interesting tidbits gleaned from examining the price data.

Urea's average price dropped to under $400/ton for the first time since the second week of October 2018 when the price was $396/ton. Another fact, the average anhydrous price was below $500/ton for the first time since the third week of Ocober 2018 when the price was also at $499/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.43/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N and UAN32 $0.45/lb.N.

Nitrogen is leading retail fertilizer prices lower this fall, according to a recent report in the Agricultural Economic Insights e-newsletter. Author and Ag Economist David Widmar wrote that prices were lower this fall after rising in early 2019.

"In recent weeks, fertilizer prices have sharply declined," Widmar wrote. "Compared to prices last spring -- the average of prices reported in April and May -- anhydrous ammonia prices are down 22% and DAP 17%. Potash prices have also declined (-5%)."

Not all nitrogen prices have fallen equally, he wrote. Anhydrous ammonia has fallen the most at -22% while urea (-8%) and UAN28 (-10%) have seen smaller adjustments. The report utilizes USDA Illinois fertilizer data.

Widmar said another way to consider fertilizer prices is the expense associated with a 180-70-70 fertilizer rate. Between 2011 and 2013 this example had an expense of $160 per acre. By 2017 this example had declined to $101 per acre.

In the spring of 2019 this fertilizer rate was at $120 per acre, the highest price since 2015 but lower than 2011-2013 level. The price in September 2019 was at $99 per acre, he wrote.

"Producers should also consider the relative cost of various nitrogen sources," he wrote. "As a result of anhydrous ammonia falling sharply in recent weeks, urea and UAN28 prices are historically high relative to anhydrous."

Half of the fertilizers are lower in price from a year ago while the other half are now higher.

MAP is now 11% less expensive, DAP is 8% lower, anhydrous is 4% less expensive and urea is 3% lower from last year at this time. UAN32 is 1% higher, UAN28 is 2% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 3% higher and potash is 4% 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.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Nov 5-9 2018 506 529 368 407
Dec 3-7 2018 501 529 369 410
Dec 31-Jan 4 2019 508 533 381 407
Jan 28-Feb 1 2019 513 536 384 407
Feb 25-Mar 01 2019 511 535 386 404
Mar 25-29 2019 509 534 385 401
Apr 22-26 2019 497 530 388 408
May 20-24 2019 497 527 392 428
Jun 17-21 2019 496 532 392 435
Jul 15-19, 2019 497 532 392 430
Aug 12-16 2019 493 503 387 413
Sep 9-13 2019 486 482 385 407
Oct 7-11, 2019 472 473 383 403
Nov 4-8 2019 462 471 384 396
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Nov 5-9 2018 458 517 245 287
Dec 3-7 2018 457 524 249 293
Dec 31-Jan 4 2019 460 571 267 304
Jan 28-Feb 1 2019 468 585 271 313
Feb 25-Mar 01 2019 470 596 270 318
Mar 25-29 2019 470 597 269 318
Apr 22-26 2019 483 594 268 315
May 20-24 2019 487 595 270 314
Jun 17-21 2019 487 589 270 318
Jul 15-19, 2019 485 585 275 317
Aug 12-16 2019 475 543 258 295
Sep 9-13 2019 471 516 253 289
Oct 7-11, 2019 470 509 253 289
Nov 4-8 2019 473 499 249 289

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(CZ)

Russ Quinn