OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices rounded out 2015 with large declines the final week of December, according to fertilizer retailers tracked by DTN. This marks the first time in many months average prices of multiple fertilizers moved significantly.
All eight of the major fertilizers drifted lower compared to a month earlier, and six of the eight were down by some consequence.
Leading the way lower was DAP, which slid 9% compared to last month. The phosphorus fertilizer had an average price of $494 per ton. DAP fell below the $500-per-ton level for the first time since the second week of January 2014 when the price was $495 per ton.
Both potash and anhydrous were down 6% compared to last month. Potash had an average price of $398/ton and anhydrous at $590/ton.
The current price of $398/ton for potash continues to be the lowest prices on our DTN retail fertilizer dataset. Meanwhile, the $590/ton price for anhydrous is the first time the nitrogen fertilizer had been under $600/ton since the third week of August 2010 when the average price was $593/ton.
MAP, UAN28 and UAN32 were all down 5% from a month earlier. MAP had an average price of $531/ton, UAN28 $273/ton and UAN32 $317/ton.
The remaining two fertilizers, urea and 10-34-0, had slight declines compared to last month. Urea had an average price of $383/ton and 10-34-0 was at $570/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.42/lb.N, anhydrous $0.36/lb.N, UAN28 $0.49/lb.N and UAN32 $0.50/lb.N.
Last week we took a quick survey of farmers on Twitter to see how they were going to handle the traditional year-end fertilizer purchasing for tax purposes. Some chose to pre-order fertilizer while others continue to wait, hoping retail fertilizer prices move lower.
Andy Weisser (@dubyadirt), a farmer from Roscoe, South Dakota, said he would normally lock in some fertilizer at the end of the calendar year, but this year he will be waiting a little longer before buying some fertilizer.
"I am going to do it soon; I normally do it at the end of the year, but my agronomist said to wait as it is still working its way down," Weisser told DTN.
Weisser said he already locked in a few loads of starter fertilizer at levels less expensive than what he paid in recent years. He still needs to lock in the bulk of his dry fertilizer and hopes to do this in the next 30 days.
"I hate to tie up money (with fertilizer), but I don't plan on cutting back on any fertilizer either. I hope to 'bushel out' a profit" with top yields, he said.
Wayne Martin (@redfarmer1), a farmer from Shelby, Iowa, said he would be purchasing fertilizer before the end of the year for tax purposes. He uses mostly liquid fertilizers, from liquid UAN32 to liquid P and K.
"I am planning to book this week, mainly for tax purposes," Martin said just before New Year's. "I doubt if prices will fall much more. The industry knows we will need it sooner or later and some prices dropped from a year ago, so I'm glad for that."
Martin added that he most likely will be making some cuts to the fertilizer he applies, mainly the micro-nutrients he normally adds to his western Iowa soils. Economics are forcing farmers to spend their input money wisely, he said.
All fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. All but one fertilizer is now double digits lower. The only fertilizer not down much is 10-34-0, which fell 1%.
UAN32 is 10% less expensive, MAP is 11% lower, DAP is 13% less expensive and UAN28 is 15% lower from a year ago. Both anhydrous and urea are 17% lower and potash is now 18% less expensive 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 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):
|Dec 29-Jan 2 2015||565||593||486||462|
|Jan 26-30 2015||568||597||487||472|
|Feb 23-27 2015||568||597||488||472|
|Mar 23-27 2015||570||598||490||467|
|Apr 20-24 2015||570||598||491||453|
|May 18-22 2015||570||597||492||459|
|June 15-19 2015||571||597||490||467|
|July 13-17 2015||569||593||488||470|
|Aug 10-14 2015||568||591||479||457|
|Sep 7-11 2015||563||580||467||433|
|Oct 5-9 2015||548||564||446||418|
|Nov 2-6 2015||546||560||430||405|
|Nov 30-Dec 4 2015||541||559||421||400|
|Dec 28-Jan 1 2016||494||531||398||383|
|Dec 29-Jan 2 2015||576||707||322||353|
|Jan 26-30 2015||585||707||326||367|
|Feb 23-27 2015||598||706||330||370|
|Mar 23-27 2015||639||706||333||371|
|Apr 20-24 2015||650||711||329||371|
|May 18-22 2015||650||710||332||372|
|June 15-19 2015||642||706||330||369|
|July 13-17 2015||639||691||323||359|
|Aug 10-14 2015||631||677||315||356|
|Sep 7-11 2015||594||656||301||346|
|Oct 5-9 2015||584||639||294||338|
|Nov 2-6 2015||583||633||291||332|
|Nov 30-Dec 4 2015||578||627||286||332|
|Dec 28-Jan 1 2016||570||590||273||317|
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com
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