OMAHA (DTN) -- Half of average retail fertilizer prices were higher and half were lower the second week of October 2017 compared to one month earlier, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.
Four of the eight major fertilizers were higher compared to last month, although only one was up significantly. Urea was up 5% compared to a month ago and had an average price of $325 per ton. The other three fertilizers, which were just slightly higher, were DAP with an average price of $432/ton, potash $347/ton and UAN32 $253/ton.
The remaining four fertilizers were slightly lower compared to last month. MAP had an average price of $453/ton, 10-34-0 $413/ton, anhydrous $397/ton and UAN28 $206/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 $0.40/lb.N.
The fact that prices for half of the eight major retail fertilizers are now higher compared to a month ago is a bit surprising. For all of 2017, most industry experts have said they expected prices to decline as the growing season went along, certainly not climb higher as has been the case for some fertilizers.
The reasons why some fertilizers are higher in price compared to a month earlier might be twofold said Bob Spratt, manager of LeRoy Fertilizer Services located in LeRoy, Illinois.
P[L1] D[0x0] M[300x250] OOP[F] ADUNIT T
"My guess is that the increase is due to a combination of seasonal demand and lower river levels causing freight rates to go up," Spratt told DTN.
Barge freight costs are higher as low water levels on the Mississippi River are making shipping fertilizer up the river more difficult. While it is certainly possible fertilizer manufacturers could be raising prices some as well, the bigger factor at work is increasing freight rates, Spratt said.
As for his area of central Illinois, Spratt said fertilizer demand has been good this fall, and he figures fall application rates will be near the levels he has seen in recent years.
"My area has been blessed with great yields again," he said.
Five of the eight major retail fertilizers are now lower compared to a year earlier. Only one of the five is double digits lower. Anhydrous is now 17% lower from a year ago, while 10-34-0 is 9% less expensive and UAN28 is 8% lower. UAN32 is 4% less expensive and DAP is 1% less expensive.
Three fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. MAP is 1% more expensive, urea is 3% higher and potash is now 11% 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):
|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|
|Feb 27-Mar 03 2017||436||458||335||361|
|Mar 27-31 2017||438||465||338||356|
|Apr 24-28 2017||437||466||338||352|
|May 22-26 2017||436||471||340||343|
|Jun 19-23 2017||436||470||340||333|
|Jul 17-21 2017||435||464||339||309|
|Aug 14-18 2017||434||460||338||305|
|Sep 11-15 2017||431||456||336||310|
|Oct 9-13 2017||432||453||347||325|
|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|
|Feb 27-Mar 03 2017||440||502||246||279|
|Mar 27-31 2017||441||508||248||279|
|Apr 24-28 2017||437||509||247||280|
|May 22-26 2017||436||503||249||280|
|Jun 19-23 2017||435||497||243||273|
|Jul 17-21 2017||425||425||229||265|
|Aug 14-18 2017||419||419||216||251|
|Sep 11-15 2017||416||412||210||248|
|Oct 9-13 2017||413||397||206||253|
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com
Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN
© Copyright 2017 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.