DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Continue Mixed Moves

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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UAN prices increased slightly from week previous, but many growers are waiting to book needs. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer price moves continued to be mixed the third week of December 2016, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.

Five of the eight major fertilizers showed lower prices from the previous week, although none were lower by a significant amount. The five were DAP with an average price of $432 per ton, MAP $437/ton, 10-34-0 $442/ton, UAN28 $217/ton and UAN32 $255/ton.

The remaining three fertilizers were slightly higher. Potash had an average price of $321/ton, urea $336/ton and anhydrous $468/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.37/lb.N, anhydrous $0.29/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.40/lb.N.

As the year draws to an end, this would be a time many farmers, for tax purposes, would be willing to pre-purchase fertilizer to lessen their tax burden. In recent years with lower farm income, some farmers have not worried about this issue, while others continue this practice.

Kenny Reinke, who farm near Neigh, Nebraska, told DTN he keeping a close eye on UAN prices but has yet to purchase any fertilizer. He also said he doesn't need to do anything with buying fertilizer for his taxes.

"I know there were some price increases the last couple of weeks, but there are deals around if you shop for them," Reinke said.

He'll use prices, not the calendar, to lock in UAN needs. With corn prices flat, he would like to see UAN under $200 per ton, he said.

Patrick Weiland, who farms near Athens, Wisconsin, typically pre-purchases some of his fertilizer needs but expects to pay as he goes this year unless fertilizer prices skyrocket.

"I talked with my fertilizer supplier last week and he said prices were fairly flat," Weiland said. "I think I will wait a couple months."

Weiland uses a urea, potash, starter blend, sulfur and zinc among his fertilizer options. He will apply urea both as a spread and as a sidedressing operation.

An Illinois farmer told DTN he had just booked all his anhydrous needs and about half of UAN32 needs last week. He paid $450 per ton for anhydrous and $200 per ton for UAN32, which included the fertilizer delivered to his farm.

"We liked the prices and we needed some tax help," he said. "UAN32 has gone up about $10 per ton or, so since we booked.

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

Urea is now down 14%, DAP is 17% less expensive, MAP are 19% lower and potash is 21% less expensive. UAN28 is 22% lower while 10-34-0, anhydrous and UAN 32 are all 23% 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 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
Oct 24-28 2016 436 451 313 317
Nov 21-25 2016 436 445 316 328
Dec 19-23 2016 432 437 321 336
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Oct 24-28 2016 452 472 224 262
Nov 21-25 2016 445 465 218 256
Dec 19-23 2016 442 468 217 255

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

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Russ Quinn