DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Most Fertilizer Prices Continue to Move Higher

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The average retail price of anhydrous was $434 per ton the second week of December 2017, up 6% from $410 the second week of November. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued to be mostly higher the second week of December 2017, with one exception, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers are now higher priced compared to a month ago. However, only one of the seven was up a significant amount. Anhydrous was up 6% compared to the previous month. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $434 per ton.

The remaining seven were up just slightly. DAP had an average price of $439/ton, MAP $479/ton, potash $343/ton, urea $340/ton, 10-34-0 $403/ton and UAN28 $218/ton.

One fertilizer was lower compared to the previous month. UAN32 was 6% lower compared to last month. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $256/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.37/lb.N, anhydrous $0.26/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.40/lb.N.

Despite the fact that prices for most retail fertilizers have been higher in recent weeks, the price outlook for nitrogen in 2018 appears to be lower. In a post from the University of Illinois farmdoc daily website titled "Nitrogen Fertilizer Prices and Costs Lower for 2018," author Gary Schnitkey wrote that nitrogen prices are lower than at any time since September 2008.

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"Lower nitrogen prices should translate into lower per-acre nitrogen fertilizer costs," Schnitkey wrote.

Using the Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator, at $3.50 corn price and $400 per ton anhydrous price, the calculator suggested 169 pounds of applied nitrogen for northern Illinois, 186 pounds for central Illinois and 200 pounds for southern Illinois. Comparing nitrogen prices from 2017 back to 2016, the cost savings on anhydrous is $10 per acre.

"The $10 per acre in nitrogen saved can vary," he wrote. "Different sources of nitrogen will have different prices and thereby impact nitrogen savings from 2017 to 2018. Furthermore, prices could change between now and spring when some or all of the nitrogen will be applied."

The entire report can be viewed at http://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/….

Four fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. DAP is 1% higher, urea is 2% more expensive, potash is 7% higher and MAP is now 8% more expensive.

The remaining four fertilizers are lower compared to a year prior. Both UAN28 and UAN32 are 1% lower while anhydrous is 6% less expensive and 10-34-0 is 9% 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
Dec 12-16 2016 433 443 320 333
Jan 9-13 2017 432 441 320 338
Feb 6-10 2017 431 448 330 354
Mar 03-10 2017 436 460 336 361
Apr 3-7 2017 438 466 338 354
May 1-5 2017 436 466 339 351
May 29-Jun 2 2017 436 471 340 339
Jun 26-30 2017 437 470 340 333
Jul 24-28 2017 434 462 338 308
Aug 21-25 2017 434 458 338 304
Sep 18-22 2017 429 452 345 312
Oct 16-20 2017 432 452 348 340
Nov 13-17 2017 435 459 342 339
Dec 11-15 2017 439 479 343 340
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Dec 12-16 2016 444 463 219 257
Jan 9-13 2017 437 467 222 258
Feb 6-10 2017 440 485 238 273
Mar 03-10 2017 441 503 246 279
Apr 3-7 2017 441 505 248 280
May 1-5 2017 436 508 247 280
May 29-Jun 2 2017 436 503 248 280
Jun 26-30 2017 435 484 238 268
Jul 24-28 2017 425 423 229 265
Aug 21-25 2017 419 417 216 248
Sep 18-22 2017 416 402 211 248
Oct 16-20 2017 413 397 205 262
Nov 13-17 2017 403 410 216 272
Dec 11-15 2017 403 434 218 256

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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Russ Quinn