DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

DTN Poll: Pre-Ordering Fertilizers Limited

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Of the 385 total respondents to a DTN 360 Poll question posted from Sept. 14 to Oct. 10, the majority said they had no plans to pre-order fertilizer for fall applications. (DTN chart by Scott R Kemper)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail prices for most fertilizers continued to move lower the first week of October 2017, but there were a couple of exceptions, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN. For the third week in a row, two fertilizers are showing higher prices compared to a month ago.

Six of the eight major fertilizers were slightly lower compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $425 per ton, MAP $453/ton, 10-34-0 $413/ton, anhydrous $399/ton, UAN28 $208/ton and UAN32 $243/ton.

The remaining two fertilizers were higher compared to the month prior, with one fertilizer up by a notable amount. Urea was 7% higher compared to last month with an average price of $323 per ton. Potash was also up just slightly with an average price of $348 per ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.35/lb.N, anhydrous $0.24/lb.N, UAN28 $0.37/lb.N and UAN32 $0.38/lb.N.

In a DTN 360 Poll question posted from Sept. 14 to Oct. 10 on DTN websites, we asked: "With harvest approaching, fall fertilizer application is also not that far away. What best applies to how you are handling fertilizer purchases for fall application?"

With 385 total respondents, the majority, 52%, responded with choice 4: "Will not pre-order fertilizer at all for fall applications." Choice 3, "Will purchase fertilizer within the next month for fall application," was the next most popular response with 29%. That was followed by choice 2, "Pre-ordered fertilizer within the last month for fall application," at 12% and choice 1, "Pre-ordered fertilizer months ago for fall application," at 7%.

The data broken down by state showed the majority of respondents in most states responded that they will not pre-order fertilizer for fall applications.

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The results of the poll are not surprising after talking with fertilizer retailers and farmers who say producers aren't motivated to lock in fertilizer needs with retail prices steady to declining for most of this calendar year.

That's not to say there weren't any interesting differences by state in the poll results.

One state, Illinois, had more respondents select choice 3, "Will purchase fertilizer within the next month for fall application." In other states, such as Indiana, Nebraska and Kansas, by far the vast majority of poll participants responded with choice 4, "Will not pre-order fertilizer at all for fall application."

Five of the eight major retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. Only one of the five is double digits lower.

Anhydrous is now 15% lower from a year ago while 10-34-0 is 9% less expensive and UAN32 is 8% lower. UAN28 is 7% less expensive and DAP is 3% less expensive.

Three fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. MAP is 1% more expensive, urea is 3% higher and potash is now 12% more expensive.

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
Oct 3-7 2016 438 451 312 315
Oct 31-Nov 4 2016 436 451 314 319
Nov 28-Dec 2 2016 435 445 318 331
Dec 26-30 2016 431 443 321 336
Jan 23-27 2017 429 443 322 347
Feb 20-24 2017 433 452 332 359
Mar 20-24 2017 438 464 338 356
Apr 17-21 2017 438 466 339 352
May 15-19 2017 437 471 340 350
Jun 12-16 2017 437 470 341 338
Jul 10-14 2017 436 467 340 321
Aug 7-11 2017 434 462 339 311
Sep 4-8 2017 431 458 338 302
Oct 2-6 2017 425 453 348 323
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Oct 3-7 2016 454 472 224 263
Oct 31-Nov 4 2016 452 471 244 262
Nov 28-Dec 2 2016 447 465 217 256
Dec 26-30 2016 437 466 217 254
Jan 23-27 2017 436 480 235 268
Feb 20-24 2017 440 490 241 276
Mar 20-24 2017 441 507 248 280
Apr 17-21 2017 437 509 247 280
May 15-19 2017 436 510 248 283
Jun 12-16 2017 435 500 246 278
Jul 10-14 2017 431 451 235 268
Aug 7-11 2017 440 419 224 258
Sep 4-8 2017 418 413 215 248
Oct 2-6 2017 413 399 208 243

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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Russ Quinn