DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Level Slightly in Past Week

National average urea prices have tumbled 19% in the past year, according to DTN's latest retailer survey. But all fertilizers except 10-34-0 are trading at a discount to year-ago levels. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail prices of most fertilizers followed no particular trend in the past week, with some falling, some increasing and some remaining unchanged, according to dealers tracked by DTN for the fourth week of October 2015.

The bottom line is that compared to a month ago, all fertilizers trended lower but none have budged more than 4%.

DAP averaged $546/ton, MAP $562/ton, potash $431/ton, urea $409/ton, 10-34-0 $583/ton, anhydrous $638/ton, UAN28 $292/ton and UAN32 $234/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.39/lb.N, UAN28 $0.52/lb.N and UAN32 $0.52/lb.N.

All retail fertilizer prices except 10-34-0 are lower now compared to a year earlier.

Urea has seen the most dramatic fall with prices now 19% lower than last year. Prices of UAN28 and UAN32 are both 11% lower than last year, while potash comes in at 10% lower.

Anhydrous prices are 9% lower than last year, while DAP and MAP come in at a 6% decline respectively. Starter fertilizer, 10-34-0, runs 5% above year ago levels.

FERTILIZER PRICES LIKELY TO SOFTEN IN COMING MONTHS

Retail fertilizer prices will likely soften as winter months approach, according to Bob Rogers from Maplehurst Farms in Rochelle, Illinois. This gradual weakening is due to growers cutting back slightly on application, as well as the market flooding a bit with inventories.

"We're seeing some softening here through the fall on most products," Rogers said.

With lowered prices, farmers may likely come back and buy more product in the spring, Rogers added. Overall, it is now pretty much a buyer's market for fertilizer, he said.

Rogers said he has not had any purchasing yet for next season. "Farmers will probably wait until the first of the year," he said, which is normal for the area.

Fall application has been running normal, Rogers said.

"Our applications have been good. Our rates have been good," he said. "So, we're more than happy with what we're getting down and what they're committing to for fall fertilizer."

Rogers said he does not foresee any supply concerns, but believes there may be some issues with logistics on the Mississippi River.

"There's plenty of fertilizer, but the transportation on the river is a little tough with the river being so low," 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 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):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Oct 27-31 2014 579 598 478 503
Nov 24-28 2014 576 595 480 492
Dec 22-26 2014 566 593 485 462
Jan 19-23 2015 568 596 487 469
Feb 16-20 2015 568 597 495 472
Mar 16-20 2015 570 597 490 470
Apr 13-17 2015 570 598 491 453
May 11-15 2015 570 598 491 457
June 8-12 2015 571 598 491 461
July 6-10 2015 570 596 489 470
Aug 3-7 2015 567 591 482 464
Aug 31-Sept 4 2015 564 583 471 439
Sept 28-Oct 2 2015 561 573 450 424
Oct 26-30 2015 546 562 431 409
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Oct 27-31 2014 558 701 327 373
Nov 24-28 2014 564 712 323 368
Dec 22-26 2014 573 706 320 362
Jan 19-23 2015 585 707 326 367
Feb 16-20 2015 593 706 330 370
Mar 16-20 2015 614 705 332 368
Apr 13-17 2015 649 711 332 370
May 11-15 2015 653 711 331 371
June 8-12 2015 649 709 331 371
July 6-10 2015 640 695 327 366
Aug 3-7 2015 628 677 318 354
Aug 31-Sept 4 2015 602 659 304 349
Sept 28-Oct 2 2015 594 644 295 342
Oct 26-30 2015 583 638 292 334

Cheryl Anderson can be reached at Cheryl.anderson@dtn.com.

Follow her on Twitter @CherylADTN

(MZT/CZ)