DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Continue to Hold Steady

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
Connect with Russ:
The average retail price of urea the second week of May was $385 per ton, down 16% from the same time last year. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued to hold steady the second week of May 1016, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN. Retail fertilizer prices have been steady for five consecutive weeks now.

Prices of four fertilizers were lower while four were higher compared to last month, though moves in both directions were fairly minor. The four fertilizers with a slightly lower price were DAP with an average price of $476 per ton, MAP $502/ton, potash $366/ton and urea $385/ton.

The other four fertilizers with slightly higher prices were 10-34-0 with an average price of $561 per ton, anhydrous $588/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 for some corn farmers would be to tighten their input spending belt. For some, that might start with cutting back some on applying fertilizer.

But not everyone feels this way. Doug Zillinger, who farms near Logan, Kansas, told DTN he has decided to continue to apply fertilizer as he has been doing in recent years.

"I went with the recommendation on my wheat as most of the field had (fertilizer) carryover due to the drought," Zillinger said. "For milo, with the 9 -- yes I said 9 -- inches of rain that we had, we will go full rate on the milo because we have a better chance to grow something this year than we have had in the last four years."

Zillinger added that the first 5 inches that fell in his home region of north-central Kansas came in a slow drizzle and soaked into the soil. Then, the next 2 inches came in OK, and the waters in creeks never came up at all.

"I have never seen anything like that in my life," he said.

Another farmer who is not altering his fertilizer application plan is Mark Israel. The southern Georgia farmer said he looked into cutting back on applying fertilizer but ultimately decided not to.

"I actually went a little higher on nitrogen for corn," Israel told DTN. "I feel that is even more important to make good yields now that (commodity) prices have fallen."

With retail fertilizer moving lower in recent months, fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. All fertilizers are now double-digits lower.

UAN32 and 10-34-0 are both 14% lower while both MAP and urea are both 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 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
Feb 15-19 2016 477 496 375 370
Mar 14-18 2016 477 499 369 390
Apr 11-15 2016 480 504 367 388
May 9-13 2016 476 502 366 385
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Feb 15-19 2016 565 538 259 309
Mar 14-18 2016 560 566 276 312
Apr 11-15 2016 560 587 273 318
May 9-13 2016 561 588 274 321

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(AG/BAS)

Russ Quinn