DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Most Fertilizer Prices Slightly Higher

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Five fertilizers, including urea, have notched small price gains recently. The latest DTN survey shows urea returning to price levels last seen in August. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continued to split in direction the first week of December 2016, with some higher from a month earlier and some lower, according to retailers tracked by DTN. However, for the first time, a majority of fertilizers inched higher rather than lower.

Five of the eight major fertilizers trended higher, although none by significant amounts. The five higher are DAP with an average price of $434 per ton, potash $318/ton, urea $333/ton, UAN28 $219/ton and UAN32 $257/ton.

The remaining three fertilizer slipped slightly lower. MAP averaged $443/ton, 10-34-0 $445/ton and anhydrous $463/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.36/lb.N, anhydrous $0.28/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.40/lb.N.

Taking a closer look at the retail fertilizer price data, prices of a couple fertilizers have pushed higher over the last month, albeit just slightly.

The first fertilizer to see higher prices is urea. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $323 per ton the first week of November. The first week of December, the price is now at $333 per ton, an increase of $10 per ton during that time.

The $333-per-ton average price for urea is the highest price for the nutrient since the second week of August. The average price for urea then was $337 per ton.

The other fertilizer with higher retail prices over the last month is potash. In the first week of November, the average price for potash was $314 per ton. The average price for the first week of December was now $318 per ton, a difference of $4 per ton.

These small gains fall in line with what I have heard from different people at The Fertilizer Institute's (TFI) Outlook and Technology Conference in mid-November.

One fertilizer wholesaler observed some fertilizer prices were on the rise then. He added that they were very slight price increases, about $5 to $10 per ton. While he may have been talking about the wholesale side of the market, the slight rise in retail fertilizer prices over the last month has been right in this same ballpark.

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

Urea is now down 16%, DAP is 19% less expensive, MAP is 20% lower and UAN32 is 22% less expensive. Both 10-34-0 and UAN28 are 23% lower, potash is 25% less expensive and anhydrous is 26% 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 price 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
Dec 7-11 2015 534 555 417 397
Jan 4-8 2016 495 521 392 381
Feb 1-5 2016 488 502 381 370
Feb 29-Mar 4 2016 476 492 373 374
Mar 28-Apr 1 2016 478 501 370 386
Apr 25-29 2016 476 502 366 386
May 23-27 2016 476 501 365 381
June 20-24 2016 470 495 358 366
July 18-22 2016 464 493 357 357
Aug 15-19 2016 452 471 333 337
Sept 12-16 2016 444 458 320 324
Oct 10-14 2016 438 452 313 316
Nov 7-11 2016 429 449 314 323
Dec 5-9 2016 434 443 318 333
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Dec 7-11 2015 575 625 284 330
Jan 4-8 2016 572 582 273 316
Feb 1-5 2016 549 555 263 305
Feb 29-Mar 4 2016 566 537 260 309
Mar 28-Apr 1 2016 561 580 268 315
Apr 25-29 2016 560 587 274 321
May 23-27 2016 560 587 274 321
June 20-24 2016 554 567 265 305
July 18-22 2016 546 546 260 304
Aug 15-19 2016 513 516 238 285
Sept 12-16 2016 474 496 233 272
Oct 10-14 2016 454 475 224 264
Nov 7-11 2016 447 468 217 256
Dec 5-9 2016 445 463 219 257

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(ES/BAS)

Russ Quinn