DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

DAP, Anhydrous Prices Decline Again

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Anhydrous prices slipped 5% in the past month, to levels not seen since 2010.

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continue to move lower, according to retailers tracked by DTN for the third week of January 2016. This week marks the fourth week in a row of significant price declines.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers edged lower compared to a month earlier with two fertilizers down some consequence.

Both DAP and anhydrous slid 5% compared to a month earlier. DAP averaged $495/ton and anhydrous $581/ton.

Five fertilizers were lower compared to the previous month but the moves to the low slide were fairly slight. MAP averaged $520/ton, potash $392/ton, urea $381/ton, UAN28 $272/ton and UAN32 $319/ton.

One fertilizer is slightly higher in price compared to a month earlier. 10-34-0 advanced slightly and now averages $571/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.41/lb.N, anhydrous $0.35/lb.N, UAN28 $0.49/lb.N and UAN32 $0.50/lb.N.

Retail fertilizer prices have declined considerably over the few last months. The current price situation begs the question: how long will these large price drops last?

While no one knows for sure, fertilizer retailers have their thoughts. Bob Spratt, manager of LeRoy Fertilizer Services located in LeRoy, Illinois, believes prices could drop until there is increased demand.

"My feeling is prices will flatten out as product begins to move with the start of planting," Spratt told DTN. "The market will get a feel here in a couple weeks, as planting starts in the South."

Mark Rohrich, a farmer and owner/operator of Maverick Ag, Inc. located in Ashley, North Dakota, said he also doesn't really have a feel for how much lower fertilizer prices could move. He does, however, believe there will be point of time prices will have to be set and demand will kick in.

"I'm not sure how much lower we can go but I know river shipments and tons logistics will need to be lined up," Rohrich said. "I think demand will be there come spring."

Farmers know they want to maintain yields and applying fertilizer will accomplish this but they also may be willing to pull back on some fertilizer practices, he said. This could be limiting some starter in corn and cutting back on fertilizer in soybeans.

Also, Spratt said he does have concerns about the upcoming spring, mainly about the weather forecast. Central Illinois could be looking at cool, wet spring, which would translate into a long, drawn out planting window.

With retail fertilizer moving lower in recent months, all fertilizers are cheaper 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 is down 2%.

MAP, DAP and UAN32 are all 13% less expensive while UAN28 is 17% below a year ago. Anhydrous is now 18% lower, urea 19% less expensive and potash is 20% lower 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):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
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
Nov 23-27 2015 543 556 422 397
Dec 21-25 2015 519 541 408 390
Jan 18-22 2016 495 520 392 381
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Nov 23-27 2015 580 624 286 325
Dec 21-25 2015 571 608 277 330
Jan 18-22 2016 571 581 272 319

(SK)

Russ Quinn