OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail prices for most fertilizers were higher the fourth week of November 2017, though prices for a couple of fertilizers continued to buck the trend and push lower, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.
Six of the eight major fertilizers were higher compared to last month, though only one was up a noteworthy amount. UAN28 was 5% higher compared to the previous month and had an average price of $216 per ton.
The remaining five fertilizers were just slightly higher in price. DAP had an average price of $435/ton, MAP $460/ton, urea $338/ton, anhydrous $410/ton and UAN32 $272/ton.
Two fertilizers were lower in price compared to a month earlier, including one that was considerably lower. 10-34-0 was down 13% from last month with an average price of $355/ton.
The remaining fertilizer was lower, but just marginally. Potash had an average price of $342/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.37/lb.N, anhydrous $0.25/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.
I like sports-related analogies. I have always thought of myself as a bit of a utility infielder in baseball -- someone who could play several different positions on the team. That's kind of what I've done over the years in the DTN newsroom.
So, while I'm not a full-fledged analyst, I do from time to time have some thoughts about the retail fertilizer market.
I attended the Fertilizer Outlook and Technology Conference a couple of weeks ago in New Orleans, Louisiana. I watched and listened to 18 different presentations relating to fertilizer, including several on the outlook of the main nutrients.
Here is one general thing I took away from the nutrient outlook presentations: Fertilizer manufacturers are seeing higher global prices because supply has been fairly steady in recent years and worldwide demand for nutrients increases slightly year to year. So the recent higher prices we have seen in the retail sector this fall are, at least partially, due to this situation.
A couple of different speakers showed charts with global prices fairly steady in 2017, until the last couple of months when prices started to climb. There were some recent local supply issues but, for the most part, fertilizer production has been steady for several years.
As we remember from basic economics, steady supply and increasing demand results in slightly higher global fertilizer prices. This situation comes at a time when most of my sources were expecting fairly steady to maybe even lower retail prices this fall. Instead, we have been seeing mainly higher retail prices.
Four fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. Both MAP and urea are 3% more expensive, UAN32 is 6% more expensive and potash is now 8% more expensive.
The remaining four fertilizers are lower compared to a year prior. Both DAP and UAN28 are 1% less expensive while anhydrous is 12% lower and 10-34-0 is 20% less 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):
|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|
|Aug 28-Sept 1 2017||433||457||338||303|
|Sep 15-29 2017||432||453||348||321|
|Oct 23-27 2017||431||453||347||325|
|Nov 20-24 2017||435||460||342||338|
|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|
|Aug 28-Sept 1 2017||418||417||215||248|
|Sep 15-29 2017||413||396||208||243|
|Oct 23-27 2017||407||393||205||262|
|Nov 20-24 2017||355||410||216||272|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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