DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Firm Once Again

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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DAP has plunged 17% in the past year, from an average of $570 per ton to $475 per ton this month. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the first week of May 2016 continue to remain constant. Retail fertilizer prices have been unwavering for four consecutive weeks now.

Five fertilizers slipped lower while the other three fertilizers were higher compared to last month. None of the five fertilizers moved by any consequence. DAP averaged $475/ton, MAP $502/ton, potash $366/ton, urea $385/ton and 10-34-0 $560/ton.

The remaining three fertilizers were higher compared to the month earlier but again the move was fairly minor. Anhydrous averaged $589/ton, UAN28 $274/ton and UAN32 $321/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.

With tight crop margins in place for the 2016 growing season, the natural reaction to counter this issue for some corn farmers would be to tighten the input spending belt. For many, they would probably start with cutting back some on fertilizer applications.

This is not true for others like Phil Cater, who farms near New Era, Michigan. He told DTN he is not planning on cutting back on a fertility program on his corn acres on his west central Michigan farm.

"Our light textured sands challenge us to feed the crop well, we just don't have a lot, or really any, reserve fertility," Carter said.

Carter broadcasts dry potash with a hydra-hume (a fertilizer adjuvant that improves the performance of liquid fertilizers) before planting and then he plants corn with liquid starter fertilizer in a 2x2 placement. He comes back with a side dressing operation with UAN28 somewhere before the corn is knee high.

In addition, he will be utilizing pre-side dressing nitrogen test (PSNT) this year, and he is also considering foliar application of micronutrients later in the growing season based on the tissue test.

"Micros are an important part of my fertilizer program as well," he said.

Retail fertilizer prices have stabilized in recent weeks, but still remain lower compared to a year earlier. All fertilizers are now double-digits lower.

UAN32 is 13% lower, 10-34-0 is 14% less expensive and both urea and MAP are 16% less expensive from a year previous. In addition, DAP, anhydrous and UAN28 are all 17% less expensive while potash is 26% 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):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
May 4-8 2015 570 598 491 457
June 1-5 2015 570 598 491 461
June 29-July 3 2015 570 596 490 469
July 27-31 2015 569 594 487 469
Aug 24-28 2015 567 586 476 447
Sept 21-25 2015 562 575 454 428
Oct 19-23 2015 547 562 435 413
Nov 16-20 2015 545 559 424 403
Dec 14-18 2015 532 544 410 392
Jan 11-15 2016 495 521 391 381
Feb 8-12 2016 479 499 378 369
Mar 7-11 2016 477 494 372 378
Apr 4-8 2016 480 504 369 387
May 2-6 2016 475 502 366 385
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
May 4-8 2015 653 711 331 371
June 1-5 2015 650 710 331 371
June 29-July 3 2015 642 705 330 369
July 27-31 2015 636 689 324 354
Aug 24-28 2015 609 667 309 350
Sept 21-25 2015 589 646 297 343
Oct 19-23 2015 582 637 291 334
Nov 16-20 2015 579 629 287 332
Dec 14-18 2015 571 612 279 331
Jan 11-15 2016 572 581 272 319
Feb 8-12 2016 569 551 261 303
Mar 7-11 2016 562 541 262 312
Apr 4-8 2016 561 586 272 315
May 2-6 2016 560 589 274 321

Russ Quinn can be reached at russ.quinn@dtn.com

(MZT/BAS/AG)

Russ Quinn