OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continued to move higher the last week of March 2016, which has been the trend in recent weeks, according to prices tracked by DTN.
Six of the eight major fertilizers edged higher compared to a month earlier. The only fertilizer up any significance is anhydrous, which is 8% above a month earlier. Anhydrous averaged $580 per ton.
Five other fertilizers were higher compared to last month, but the move to the high side was fairly small. DAP averaged $478/ton, MAP $501/ton, urea $386/ton, UAN28 $268/ton and UAN32 $315/ton.
Two fertilizers were lower in price, but the move lower was fairly slight. Potash averaged $370/ton while 10-34-0 was at $561/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.42/lb.N, anhydrous $0.35/lb.N, UAN28 $0.48/lb.N and UAN32 $0.49/lb.N.
In a recent audio report titled "Declining Fertilizer Prices," University of Wisconsin Extension soil scientist Carrie Laboski explains how the decrease in fertilizer prices affects farmers and what causes the price of fertilizer to fluctuate.
Laboski reported fertilizers have declined some but crop producers will still have profitability concerns with this year's crops.
"We're seeing from late fall until spring, maybe a 20% reduction in some fertilizer prices, not all," Laboski said. "And that is a good thing for the farmer. Unfortunately, it's probably not enough to close the gap between the cost of production and what they'll earn on their crops."
There are several factors affecting the price of fertilizer, she said. The price of natural gas affects the price of fertilizer as natural gas is required in the production of fertilizer materials. Fertilizer also tends to follow the price of grains as well, she added.
Laboski said UW Extension can help farmers survive the volatility in the fertilizer market by utilizing their nitrogen rate guidelines, which is price-adjusted.
"Our data that we collect through our research trials, we evaluate that and we evaluate that through the lens of economics," she said. "So we're not looking for maximum production, we're looking for maximum economic production, so maximizing profitability."
The UW report can be found here: http://fyi.uwex.edu/…
Despite the recent price bump in some retail fertilizers, all products remain double digits lower compared to a year ago. 10-34-0 now 13% lower.
UAN32 is 15% lower compared to a year earlier while DAP, MAP and urea are all now 16% less expensive. In addition, anhydrous is 18% lower, UAN28 is 19% less expensive and potash is 25% lower compared to a year earlier.
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 prices in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.
Retail fertilizer charts dating back to November 2008 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):
|Mar 30-Apr 3 2015||569||598||491||462|
|Apr 27-May 1 2015||571||598||492||455|
|May 25-29 2015||570||597||492||459|
|June 22-26 2015||572||597||490||469|
|July 20-24 2015||569||594||487||469|
|Aug 17-21 2015||568||587||477||448|
|Sept 14-18 2015||563||579||462||432|
|Oct 12-16 2015||547||564||440||418|
|Nov 9-13 2015||547||561||426||405|
|Dec 7-11 2015||534||555||417||397|
|Jan 4-8 2016||495||521||392||381|
|Feb 1-5 2016||488||502||381||370|
|Feb 29-Mar 4 2016||476||492||373||374|
|Mar 28-Apr 1 2016||478||501||370||386|
|Mar 30-Apr 3 2015||642||708||333||370|
|Apr 27-May 1 2015||652||711||332||371|
|May 25-29 2015||650||710||332||371|
|June 22-26 2015||641||690||330||369|
|July 20-24 2015||636||689||324||354|
|Aug 17-21 2015||611||667||309||349|
|Sept 14-18 2015||593||653||300||345|
|Oct 12-16 2015||584||640||295||338|
|Nov 9-13 2015||581||631||289||332|
|Dec 7-11 2015||575||625||284||330|
|Jan 4-8 2016||572||582||273||316|
|Feb 1-5 2016||549||555||263||305|
|Feb 29-Mar 4 2016||566||537||260||309|
|Mar 28-Apr 1 2016||561||580||268||315|
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com
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