OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices were mostly lower the fourth week of January 2016. However, the steep price declines of recent weeks appear to be slowing, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.
Six of the eight major fertilizers edged lower compared to a month earlier with all six down just slightly. MAP averaged $515/ton, potash $391/ton, urea $380/ton, anhydrous $569/ton, UAN28 $271/ton and UAN32 $317/ton.
The remaining two fertilizers were slightly higher in price compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $495/ton and 10-34-0 $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 $0.48/lb.N and UAN32 $0.50/lb.N.
With fertilizer prices dropping significantly since mid-2015, farmers face more questions about when to purchase fertilizer. Do they purchase some of their needs now and risk missing out on even lower price? Or do they wait, see if prices go any lower, but risk prices climbing higher as spring approaches?
Not an easy decision.
Karl Jacobson, a farmer from Concordia, Kansas, said the only fertilizer he has already purchased for the 2016 growing season is 10-34-0. Supply concerns about starter fertilizer were the reason he locked in this particular nutrient.
"They said it could be short (this spring) so I bought that in December, but I haven't bought anything else," Jacobson told DTN.
He added he put some money down and bought starter for $570 per ton.
Jacobson said he will most likely lock in at least some of his fertilizer needs by March. With margins being so tight this year, he might be shopping around more than he has done in the past as he looks for the best price possible when it comes to buying fertilizers.
"I usually buy from just one place, but I may have to do different things this year," he said. "I may have to nose around to a couple different suppliers and see what they are offering."
With retail fertilizer moving lower in recent months, all fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. All but one fertilizer is now double digits lower. The only fertilizer not down much is 10-34-0, which is down 2%.
DAP is now 13% lower, MAP and UAN32 are down 14%, UAN28 is 17% less than a year ago. Urea and anhydrous are running 19% lower; potash prices average 20% lower.
DTN collects roughly 1,700 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.
DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer price in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.
Retail fertilizer charts dating back to November 2008 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts included cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.
DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):
|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|
|Jan 25-29 2016||495||515||391||380|
|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|
|Jan 25-29 2016||571||569||271||317|
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com
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