DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Potash Leads Price Adjustment

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Average retail prices for potash at $454/ton now run the lowest since DTN began its weekly survey in November 2008.

OMAHA (DTN) -- Fertilizer prices continue to slip lower and some have hit historically low levels, according to retailers tracked by DTN for the fourth week of September.

Only one fertilizer had a price decline of any significance in the last few weeks. Potash dropped 5% compared to last month with an average price of $454/ton. The remaining seven fertilizers tracked by DTN dipped in price during this period, but only slightly.

DAP averaged $562/ton, MAP $575/ton, urea $428/ton, 10-34-0 $589/ton, anhydrous $646/ton, UAN28 $297/ton and UAN32 $343/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.47/lb.N, anhydrous $0.39/lb.N, UAN28 $0.53/lb.N and UAN32 $0.54/lb.N.

Fertilizer prices are moving lower but the question is how current prices compared to the historic trend. Potash's average price ($454/ton) is now at the lowest level in the history of the DTN retail fertilizer data set, which has recorded prices since November 2008. Before now, the lowest average price for potash was at $467/ton, the last week of August 2010.

Other fertilizers with fairly historical low retail prices would be UAN28, UAN32 and urea.

UAN28's average price of $297/ton was the first time sub-$300/ton has been seen since the second week of September 2010, when the average price was $296/ton. While the price now is below $300/ton, UAN28 slid as low as $199/ton in August 2009.

UAN32 is at its lowest price level ($343/ton) since the first week of October 2010 when the average price was at $338/ton. Its lowest price occurred the third week of November 2009 with an average price of $244/ton.

Urea has also seen its price move into fairly historic low levels. The nitrogen fertilizer's average price ($428/ton) is the lowest price since the third week of July 2010. That week the average price was at $367/ton.

The remaining four fertilizers have lower retail prices historically but these levels have been matched the last couple of years.

Both DAP ($562/ton) and MAP ($575/ton) are at their lowest prices since the last week of February 2014. DAP's average price that week was at $542/ton and MAP was at $561/ton.

Anhydrous prices ($646/ton) are currently at the lowest levels since March 2014. The average price then was $633/ton.

Interestingly, the current anhydrous price is not anywhere near the all-time low price for the nitrogen fertilizer. That was achieved in the first week of September 2009 when the average price was at $409/ton.

The fertilizer that has declined the least would be starter fertilizer, 10-34-0, which is not a major surprise. Starter fertilizer's price ($589/ton) continues to be elevated after seeing a sizeable increase earlier this year because of a shortage of acid used to make the fertilizer.

With retail fertilizer prices moving lower in recent weeks, only one fertilizer is now higher compared to a year earlier. 10-34-0 is 6% higher compared to last year.

The remaining seven nutrients are now lower compared to retail prices from a year ago. DAP is 3% lower, both MAP and potash are 4% less expensive, anhydrous is 7% lower, UAN32 is 9% less expensive, UAN28 is 10% lower and urea is 16% less expensive from a year previous.

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 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):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Sept 22-26 2014 579 600 473 510
Oct 20-24 2014 582 599 478 507
Nov 17-21 2014 576 595 480 493
Dec 15-19 2014 565 592 483 461
Jan 12-16 2015 566 594 486 465
Feb 9-13 2015 569 597 488 473
Mar 9-13 2015 570 597 489 471
Apr 6-Apr 10 2015 570 598 491 461
May 4-8 2015 570 598 491 457
June 1-5 2015 570 598 491 461
June 29-July 3 2015 570 596 490 469
July 27-31 2015 569 594 487 469
Aug 24-28 2015 567 586 476 447
Sept 21-25 2015 562 575 454 428
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Sept 22-26 2014 555 694 329 377
Oct 20-24 2014 557 697 327 367
Nov 17-21 2014 560 709 322 366
Dec 15-19 2014 572 705 322 362
Jan 12-16 2015 582 710 325 364
Feb 9-13 2015 589 707 330 370
Mar 9-13 2015 626 706 331 371
Apr 6-Apr 10 2015 648 709 333 370
May 4-8 2015 653 711 331 371
June 1-5 2015 650 710 331 371
June 29-July 3 2015 642 705 330 369
July 27-31 2015 636 689 324 354
Aug 24-28 2015 609 667 309 350
Sept 21-25 2015 589 646 297 343

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(MZT/CZ)

Russ Quinn