DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Continue to Slide Lower

Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
10-34-0 had an average price of $426 per ton the first week of August 2017. The fertilizer is now 22% less expensive than it was a year ago. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail prices for all eight major fertilizers were lower again the first week of August 2017, continuing a trend that has lasted for the past several weeks, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.

Only one fertilizer had a significant price drop compared to a month earlier. Anhydrous showed another large decrease in price, down 10% compared to last month. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $418 per ton.

The remaining seven fertilizers had lower prices compared to last month, but none of these fertilizers were down significantly. DAP had an average price of $434/ton, MAP $463/ton, potash $339/ton, urea $311/ton, 10-34-0 $426/ton, UAN28 $227/ton and UAN32 $262/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.34/lb.N, anhydrous $0.25/lb.N, UAN28 $0.40/lb.N and UAN32 $0.41/lb.N.

Despite falling prices, like many farmers, Quentin Bowen has yet to purchase his fertilizer needs for the 2018 growing season. However, the Falls City, Nebraska, farmer told DTN he is thinking about prepaying for half of his anhydrous needs when his local retailer sets a price.

"The norm for us has always been to prepay our nitrogen needs, but the last three years we haven't because we felt the price was too high to lock in, and we would let the nitrogen decision ride longer into the spring," Bowen said. "The current price ranges around here (this year) sounds more reasonable than in the past couple years, so we are talking about it."

Bowen added that a lot of factors have to work themselves out before he makes a decision on buying fertilizer. First and foremost, more rains for his crops are a must on his southeastern Nebraska farm.

"We have missed quite a few big ones in the past two to three weeks," he said. "We are living on 0.20-inch to 0.30-inch showers, and that is stretching thin."

All retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. Five of the eight major fertilizers are double digits lower.

Anhydrous is now 24% lower from a year ago while 10-34-0 is 22% less expensive, UAN32 is 15% lower and both urea and UAN28 are 11% less expensive. DAP is 6% lower, MAP is 5% less expensive while potash is 2% lower.

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
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
Feb 13-17 2017 432 450 332 357
Mar 13-17 2017 443 462 337 360
Apr 10-13 2017 437 466 338 353
May 8-12 2017 437 466 340 351
Jun 5-9 2017 438 469 339 338
Jul 3-7 2017 436 467 339 325
Jul 31-Aug 4 2017 434 463 339 311
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Feb 13-17 2017 440 491 240 276
Mar 13-17 2017 441 507 247 280
Apr 10-13 2017 441 505 247 280
May 8-12 2017 437 508 247 280
Jun 5-9 2017 435 503 246 278
Jul 3-7 2017 432 462 236 268
Jul 31-Aug 4 2017 426 418 227 262

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(AG/BAS)