DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Retail Fertilizer Prices Trade in Narrow Range

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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UAN prices have pushed upward recently, but still remain 16% below year-ago levels. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continue to be relatively stable the third week of January 2017, according to retailers tracked by DTN. But, as was the case last week, more fertilizers are now trending higher than lower.

Six of the eight major fertilizers edged higher, although none moved by any considerable amount. MAP averaged $443 per ton, potash $324/ton, urea $346/ton, anhydrous $478/ton, UAN28 $235/ton and UAN32 $267/ton.

The remaining two fertilizers were slightly lower, but none of these moves to the low side were noteworthy. DAP averaged $430/ton and 10-34-0 was $437/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.38/lb.N, anhydrous $0.29/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.

As crop margins remain tight, farmers continue to try to become as efficient as possible, especially when it comes to their fertilizer needs. One such farmer is Jerry Demmer, who farms near Clarks Grove, Minnesota.

Demmer has been spending this winter analyzing inputs with these lower commodity prices. While he has already applied some N this fall, he will apply less nitrogen overall and put the nutrient on at three different application times.

"I have talked to my agronomist that works at the local co-op about farmers and fertilizer inputs, and he said they are not cutting back as one would think; they know they must maximize yield but be careful on what works and what does not," Demmer told DTN.

Demmer's home region of south-central Minnesota had an extremely wet September before harvest began. With all of the rain right before harvest, he thought maybe he would not get a window to do any fall fieldwork. However, the weather cooperated and he was able to get tillage completed as well as fertilizer applied, specifically both anhydrous and phosphorus (P) and potash (K).

"I think most farmers in this area apply P/K in the fall and try to get their nitrogen applied (in the fall) to beat the rush in the spring," he said.

Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier.

Urea is now down 9%, DAP is 13% less expensive, MAP is 15% lower and potash is 17% less expensive, UAN28 is down 14% and UAN32 is 16% lower. Anhydrous is 20% less expensive and 10-34-0 is 24% 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
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
Jan 16-20 2017 430 443 324 346
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Jan 16-20 2017 437 478 235 267

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(MZT/AG)

Russ Quinn