DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Still Mostly Lower

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
Connect with Russ:
With nutrients like potash averaging $346 per ton -- down $136 per ton from a year ago -- growers may take advantage of the savings to rebuild soil fertility, some agronomy managers speculate. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued to dip lower the first week of August 2016, with one exception, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.

That one exception would be UAN32, which is slightly higher in price compared to a month earlier. The nitrogen fertilizer averaged $307 per ton.

The remaining seven major fertilizers' prices were lower in price compared to the previous month, but once again, none were down significantly. DAP averaged $459/ton, MAP $488/ton, potash $346/ton and urea at $349/ton. 10-34-0 was at $548/ton, anhydrous $552/ton and UAN28 $254/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.38/lb.N, anhydrous $0.34/lb.N, UAN28 $0.45/lb.N and UAN32 $0.48/lb.N.

Retailers report the summer fill activity has been almost nonexistent this growing season. Brent Hall, agronomy manager for South Central Cooperative located in Lacona, Iowa, said the normal summer fill activity for most retailers has been replaced by waiting out the market to see when the bottom is in the market.

"I think you really won't see much in new prices until maybe after Labor Day," Hall told DTN. "By then we will know what yields should generally be, and hopefully fertilizer prices will be established at that point."

Hall said he believes the fall price for fertilizers will most likely be lower than it was in the spring as commodity prices have continued to decline during most of this growing season. Where exactly fertilizer prices could be, however, is anybody's guess, he said.

One positive aspect to lower commodity prices and thus fertilizer prices is producers could have an opportunity to invest in building levels of fertilizer in their soils with less-expensive fertilizer. Hall added his home region of south-central Iowa should see above-average yields.

"You have fertilizer like potash, which is considerably less expensive compared to a year ago," he said. "I'm not worried about (fertilizer) demand because I think our producers will take the chance to build fertilizer levels this fall with decent crop yields and significantly lower fertilizer prices."

Based on DTN surveys, retail fertilizer prices remain double-digits lower compared to a year earlier.

Both UAN32 and 10-34-0 are 13% lower, MAP is 17% less expensive and both DAP and anhydrous are 19% lower than August 2015. UAN28 is 20% lower, urea is 25% less expensive and potash is 28% less expensive compared to last year.

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
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
June 6-10 2016 470 498 359 370
July 4-8 2016 469 496 359 361
Aug 1-5 2016 459 488 346 349
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
June 6-10 2016 556 569 267 310
July 4-8 2016 546 554 261 304
Aug 1-5 2016 548 552 254 307

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

(MZT/AG)

Russ Quinn