DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

UAN Fertilizers Higher Once Again

Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
UAN28 is one of the two fertilizers with the highest increase in value. (DTN graphic by Scott R Kemper)

OMAHA (DTN) -- A majority of retail fertilizer prices continue to push higher, according to fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the last week of January 2017. This marks the second consecutive week prices have been significantly higher, although prices have been trending higher much longer.

All but one of the eight major fertilizers were higher although only two were higher by any considerable amount. UAN28 was 8% higher compared to a month earlier while UAN32 was 6% more expensive. UAN28 had an average price of $236/ton while UAN32 was at $270/ton.

The remaining five fertilizers were slightly higher but not by a significant amount. MAP had an average price of $448/ton, potash $329/ton, urea $353/ton, 10-34-0 $439/ton and anhydrous $482/ton.

One lone fertilizer is slightly lower, but this move to the low side was not that notable. DAP had an average price of $430/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.29/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.

While retail fertilizer prices may not be as low as they were a few weeks ago, they are still relatively low in the big picture view and university crop budgets continue to reflect this fact.

In a post from the Agricultural Economic Insights' Blog titled "Why Soybean Acres Aren't a Clear Winner in 2017" from Feb. 6 and written by David Widmar and Brent Gloy, the ag economists take a look at the different crop budgets from across the Corn Belt. They used crop budgets for the 2017 growing season for corn and soybeans from Iowa State University, the University of Illinois and Purdue University.

The changes in the cost of seed, fertilizer and crop protection from 2016 compared to 2013 are broken down in the post. Scroll down to find the link to this post.

Not surprisingly, fertilizer has seen large declines during this time. Iowa State estimates fertilizer will be down $59/acre in corn and $25/acre in beans while Illinois figured $57/acre less in corn and $42/acre less in beans and Purdue was at $73/acre lower in corn and $44/acre lower in beans.

"While fertilizer expenses have changed in all budgets -- as one would expect given declining fertilizer prices -- changes in seed and crop protection have also been impactful," the report said.

While some may believe soybeans would hold a clear economic advantage in the 2017 growing season over corn production, the university crop budgets were not consistent with the assessments of which crop would fare better economically. The Purdue and Illinois crop budgets favored soybeans in 2017, while the Iowa State crop budget favored corn.

Differences in the crop budgets are not uncommon, the report said. It happened in 2014 when the Purdue budgets favored soybeans while Iowa State and Illinois both stated corn would be more profitable.

"When evaluating seed, fertilizer and crop protection expenses across the three university budgets, the adjustments were not consistent," the report stated. "Inconsistencies in production costs adjustments are also likely common across farms too."

To read the post and review the results, click on this link: http://bit.ly/…

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

The one fertilizer no longer down double-digits is urea, which is now down 5%. UAN28 is now 10% less expensive while MAP is 11% lower. Both DAP and UAN32 are 12% lower, anhydrous is 13% less expensive, potash is 14% less expensive and 10-34-0 is 20% 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
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
Jan 2-6 2017 431 442 322 339
Jan 30-Feb 3 2017 430 448 329 353
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Jan 2-6 2017 436 465 218 255
Jan 30-Feb 3 2017 439 482 236 270

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(BAS/SK)