OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued to move lower the fourth week of February 2016, according to fertilizer retails surveyed by DTN. However, retailers report there are signs these lower fertilizer prices could reverse in the coming weeks and months. With spring application season gaining steam, DTN Fertilizer Columnist Ken Johnson's Feb. 29 report also confirms that UAN and anhydrous prices will likely begin running steady to higher over the next few weeks.
As was the case last week, all eight major fertilizers were lower compared to a month earlier with three fertilizers down some significance.
Anhydrous slid 6% compared to last month and the nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $536 per ton. Both MAP and potash dropped 5% compared to the fourth week of January. MAP averaged $492/ton and potash was at $373/ton.
The remaining five fertilizers were lower, but just slightly. DAP had an average price of $477/ton, urea $371/ton, 10-34-0 $566/ton, UAN28 $260/ton and UAN32 $309/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.33/lb.N, UAN28 $0.46/lb.N and UAN32 $0.48/lb.N.
Retailers tell DTN that some of the current fertilizer prices they are seeing from their suppliers are higher in price, not lower.
Storm Sammon, regional sales manager for Central Farm Service (formally Central Valley Cooperative) located in Owatonna, Minnesota, said he has seen some higher fertilizer prices in recent weeks.
"Anhydrous was up like $10/ton and UAN like $15/ton. That is not a lot, but I know urea has been up $40/ton on the river open," Sammon said. "We know some anhydrous is going on Missouri, so this could be pushing prices higher."
Sammon acknowledges farmers have been less than willing to purchase fertilizer this winter with the lower fertilizer trend and profitability concerns. Despite this fact, he said he is only a little behind on his normal farmer fertilizer purchases this winter.
One of his customers brought up an interesting question to him recently, he said. Would some farmers be willing to apply more fertilizer with low retail prices and lower commodity prices? Sammon said he thinks some may be thinking this way.
"I guess it just kind of depends on each person, how they look at their situation and how much money they have to spend," he said. "I know when commodity prices were higher, farmers didn't hesitate to buy fertilizer, but I think you just have to make sure you have more coming in (as income) than going out (as expenses)."
With retail fertilizer moving lower in recent months, all fertilizers have sunk below year-ago levels. All but one fertilizer is now double digits lower. The only fertilizer not down much is 10-34-0, which is down 5%.
DAP is now 16% lower, UAN32 is 17% less expensive and MAP is 18% below a year ago. In addition, both urea and UAN28 are 22% less expensive while both potash and anhydrous are 24% lower compared to a year earlier.
DTN collects roughly 1,700 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.
DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer price in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.
Retail fertilizer charts dating back to November 2008 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts included cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.
DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):
|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|
|Feb 22-26 2016||477||492||373||371|
|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|
|Feb 22-26 2016||566||536||260||309|
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com
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