OMAHA (DTN) -- Prices of potash continued to fall to record-breaking lows, dropping another 5% in the past week compared to month-earlier averages, according to DTN's weekly retail fertilizer survey. Prices of all other major types of fertilizer remained unchanged or with only small price adjustments of $1 per ton up or down.
DAP averaged $547 per ton, MAP $564/ton, potash $440/ton, urea $418/ton, 10-34-0 $584/ton, anhydrous $640/ton, UAN28 $295/ton and UAN32 $338/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.45/lb.N, anhydrous $0.39/lb.N, UAN28 $0.53/lb.N and UAN32 $0.53/lb.N.
Compared to year-earlier prices, only starter fertilizer remains more expensive than a year ago. 10-34-0 averages about 5% higher. Prices of urea are a substantial 18% lower, with UAN28 prices also falling 10% below last year. Prices of UAN32 fell 9%, anhydrous 8%, potash 7%, DAP 6%, and MAP 5%
COMMODITY, OIL INFLUENCE
Jerry Bremer, president of Agricultural Services Inc. in Grand Island, Nebraska, said he believes future fertilizer prices will likely depend on the price of commodities and oil, especially since corn prices seem to follow the movement of oil prices.
Prices are down for some types of fertilizer, but not for others, Bremer said.
For instance, the urea market is down, but it is going to be the "heavy weight" when it comes to sales in the future, as there is more urea production being built, he said.
While foreign phosphate prices seem "barely reasonable," Bremer said that domestic phosphate is lower than last year, but probably not as cheap as it could be. Potash is also reasonably low at present.
Phosphoric acid is higher priced compared to last year, he said.
"The only thing that's making that reasonable is that the ammonia used to convert the phosphoric acid into 10-45-0 is cheaper than it was last year," he said. "But we're not a lot cheaper in manufacturing 10-34-0 than we were last year."
Sulfur, whether thiazol or ammoniate sulfate, is actually higher priced than it was last year, Bremer said.
Bremer said he has not had anybody lock in fertilizer yet this fall, as farmers are still picking corn and are about 10 days behind normal with harvest.
"We probably won't see much action until the first part of November as far as anybody looking at doing some kind of pre-pay sale for the coming year," he said.
As far as fall application, Bremer said farmers will be putting on phosphorus and potassium, but his area's Natural Resources District doesn't allow nitrogen to be put on between Nov. 1 and March 1 of the following year. With the harvest schedule 10 days behind, that will likely prevent farmers from applying anything until next spring.
Bremer said he is slightly concerned about supplies of thiazol, or liquid sulfur. He said what liquid sulfur he is getting in now is coming on rail, but in short-loaded cars. Normal 100-ton rail cars are coming as low as 88 tons.
"In my experience, when that happens, they're basically allocating that out to everybody. You can order X amount of railcars, but it won't be the tons you wanted," he said. "If you want more sulfur in, you're going to have to ask for it."
Domestic phosphoric acid will also likely be in short supply again this year, he said.
Bremer said he is concerned about upcoming new regulations by Occupational Safety and Health Administration on ammonia. Also, the Department of Transportation is putting new rules in place on nurse tanks and took a good number of tanks out of service.
"The rules are going to make it tougher for everybody to handle. Some of these rules are going to be to the point where some people aren't even going to be in the ammonia business anymore," he said.
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):
|Oct 13-17 2014||583||599||477||508|
|Nov 10-14 2014||579||598||480||498|
|Dec 8-12 2014||570||591||481||483|
|Jan 5-9 2015||566||594||485||464|
|Feb 2-6 2015||569||597||488||473|
|Mar 2-6 2015||570||597||489||471|
|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|
|Oct 13-17 2014||557||696||329||372|
|Nov 10-14 2014||559||720||336||368|
|Dec 8-12 2014||571||709||323||368|
|Jan 5-9 2015||577||707||323||364|
|Feb 2-6 2015||589||707||329||369|
|Mar 2-6 2015||626||706||331||371|
|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|
Cheryl Anderson can be reached at email@example.com
© Copyright 2015 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.