DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

UAN, Urea Prices Push Higher

Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
Retail urea prices have been on an upswing since reaching a low in mid-Nov. 2016. (DTN graphic)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for second week of February 2017 continue to show higher retail prices. This marks the third week in a row some nutrients have made significant jumps as demand builds with southern regions beginning to make applications and plant first seeds of 2017.

All fertilizers tracked by DTN, except DAP, moved higher, with three products higher by a considerable amount.

UAN28 was 7% higher compared to a month earlier, while UAN32 was 6% more expensive and urea was 5% higher. UAN28 had an average price of $238/ton, UAN32 $273/ton and urea $354/ton.

Four fertilizers were slightly higher than the month previous. MAP had an average price of $448/ton, potash $330/ton, 10-34-0 $440/ton and anhydrous $485/ton.

DAP had an average price of $431/ton, slightly lower than the second week of January.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.43/lb.N.

Despite the recent higher retail fertilizer prices, fertilizer companies have struggled in the midst of lowering global prices of fertilizer in recent years. One such company is Agrium, which agreed to merge with Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.

Fourth-quarter profit dropped two-thirds to $67 million, or 49 cents a share, according to a Dow Jones article on the merger. Excluding stock-based compensation and other items, profit fell to 60 cents a share from $1.52 a share a year earlier, the article said.

Agrium blamed the lower earnings on the slumping world fertilizer prices. Potash prices fell 33% internationally and 25% in North America, the company stated.

One bright spot for the company was its sales, as overall sales rose 5.3% to $2.28 billion based on higher crop-protection product movement which made up for lower fertilizer prices. Analysts had projected 68 cents a share on $2.18 billion in revenue.

Dow Jones reported Agrium is expected to make $4.50 to $6 a share this year, compared to $4.29 a share it made in 2016.

Last month, Potash Corp reported a 71% drop in fourth quarter profit and a 22% decline in fertilizer sales. The company blamed the drop in global fertilizer prices which out weighted higher volumes.

Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. Six of the eight major fertilizer are double digits lower.

10-34-0 is 23% lower from a year ago while potash is 13% less expensive, anhydrous is 12% lower. DAP, MAP and UAN32 are all 10% compared to year earlier.

UAN28 is now 9% lower while urea is 4% less 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
Feb 8-12 2016 479 499 378 369
Mar 7-11 2016 477 494 372 378
Apr 4-8 2016 480 504 369 387
May 2-6 2016 475 502 366 385
May 30-June 3 2016 473 499 363 375
June 27-July 1 2016 468 495 358 365
July 25-29 2016 459 492 356 356
Aug 22-26 2016 451 468 330 330
Sept 19-23 2016 443 453 319 323
Oct 17-21 2016 436 452 313 317
Nov 14-18 2016 436 445 315 327
Dec 12-16 2016 433 443 320 333
Jan 9-13 2017 432 441 320 338
Feb 6-10 2017 431 448 330 354
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Feb 8-12 2016 569 551 261 303
Mar 7-11 2016 562 541 262 312
Apr 4-8 2016 561 586 272 315
May 2-6 2016 560 589 274 321
May 30-June 3 2016 559 579 268 313
June 27-July 1 2016 554 566 266 304
July 25-29 2016 543 545 257 304
Aug 22-26 2016 502 515 234 280
Sept 19-23 2016 470 494 225 271
Oct 17-21 2016 453 475 224 265
Nov 14-18 2016 445 466 219 256
Dec 12-16 2016 444 463 219 257
Jan 9-13 2017 437 467 222 258
Feb 6-10 2017 440 485 238 273

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @russquinnDTN

(GH/ES)