DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Continue to Plunge

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
Connect with Russ:
Retail UAN28 prices are running 25% below year-ago levels. All nitrogen products may have room to slide further, some retailers speculate. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN continued to slide lower the fourth week of September 2016, although the amount of declines is not as much as in recent weeks. All eight of the major fertilizers are lower compared to last month with only two fertilizers down a considerable amount.

Down 6% compared to a month earlier is 10-34-0. The starter fertilizer averaged $465 per ton. The other fertilizer down a significant amount is UAN28. The liquid nitrogen fertilizer is now 5% less expensive than a month earlier and averaged $223/ton.

The remaining six fertilizers were all lower compared to last month, but the move to the low side was slight. DAP averaged $440/ton, MAP $458/ton, potash $317/ton, urea $322/ton, anhydrous $486/ton and UAN32 $271/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.35/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.40/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.

With harvest just fully beginning to ramp-up in most areas of the Corn Belt, farmers' thoughts may not be on fertilizer currently, but they will be soon enough. Bob Rodgers, agronomy manager for Maplehurst Farms located in Rochelle, Illinois, told DTN while his farmer customers are busy harvesting, he thinks they will be applying more fertilizer this fall than in the previous two years.

"I think right now they are waiting to see what kind of yields are out there," Rodgers said. "We have some pretty good yield reports so far, and I think we are going to see them willing to put down fertilizer this fall for next year's crop."

Rodgers said high yields, commodity prices higher than some would have expected, and fertilizer prices finally coming down have all combined to create a situation in which many farmers in his area of northern Illinois will be willing to invest in fertilizer for the upcoming 2017 crop. Phosphorus and potash will be applied after harvest, and some anhydrous will be applied in late October and early November when temperatures are cooler.

Despite fertilizer prices declining in recent weeks, Rodgers told DTN he believes prices could be flat to maybe even lower into this winter.

"I know the new OCI nitrogen plant in Wever, [Iowa], is online now, and this should provide the fertilizer market with additional nitrogen supply, which should in turn lower prices some," he said. (In DTN's monthly wholesale fertilizer report Oct. 3, DTN Fertilizer Columnist Karl Stevenson also expected the OCI plant to launch ammonia production this month, with UAN and urea ramping up in November. (See https://www.dtnpf.com/…)

Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. All fertilizers are now double digits lower.

MAP is now down 20%, UAN32 is 21% less expensive, and both DAP and 10-34-0 are 22% lower. Urea is down 24%, both anhydrous and UAN28 are now 25% less expensive, and potash is 30% lower compared to a year prior.

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 prices in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.

Retail fertilizer charts dating back to 2010 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
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
Aug 29-Sept 2 2016 449 464 327 326
Sept 26-30 2016 440 458 317 322
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Aug 29-Sept 2 2016 493 509 233 275
Sept 26-30 2016 465 486 223 271

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(MZT/AG)

Russ Quinn