DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Prices Continue to Slowly Shift Higher

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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In the latest week surveyed, UAN32 was 7% more expensive compared to month-earlier levels at an average price of $279/ton. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continued to trend higher the fourth week of February 2018, according to retailers tracked by DTN.

All eight of the major fertilizers again are higher compared to last month, but only one fertilizer was up a significant amount. Nitrogen fertilizer UAN32 was 7% more expensive compared to month-earlier levels at an average price of $279/ton.

The remaining seven fertilizers were all higher compared to the prior month but none were up a notable amount. DAP had an average price of $461/ton; MAP $497/ton; potash $346/ton; urea $361/ton; 10-34-0 $416/ton; anhydrous $496/ton; and UAN28 $233/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N; anhydrous $0.30/lb.N; UAN28 $0.42/lb.N; and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

As retail fertilizer prices continue to climb, farmers are taking a long look at their plans for the rapidly approaching 2018 growing season. The decision to apply fertilizer last fall and/or pre-purchase fertilizer for this spring looks to have been a good decision.

Mike Cooprider, a corn and soybean farmer from Jasonville, Indiana, said he applied both DAP and potash last fall. In addition, he also put down two tons per acre of turkey litter for which he paid $22 to $24 an acre.

"We just signed a contract from another turkey grower for his manure at much lower price," Cooprider told DTN.

As for this spring, he pre-paid for anhydrous at $500/ton for sidedress operations as well as some UAN32 and ammonium polyphosphate (11-37-0).

Cooprider believes in tiling on his south-central Indiana farm. He owns his own tile plow, does his own tiling and he didn't get as much fall tillage done last fall as he wanted to plow in more field tile while the ground was still dry.

"Tiling, in my opinion, results in more bushels per acre for our farm consistently because earlier planting equals better yields and in a wet year the roots can breathe sooner," he said.

The recent rally in ag commodities is "a blessing" to sell more unpriced bushels both old and new crop but this rally will also probably push fertilizer even higher, Cooprider said.

Four fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices pushing up in recent months. UAN32 is now 1% more expensive; potash is 3% higher; DAP is 6% more expensive; and MAP is 8% higher than last year.

The remaining four fertilizers are lower in price compared to a year prior. Both anhydrous and urea are 1% less expensive while both UAN28 and UAN32 are 5% lower looking back a year.

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
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
Nov 6-10 2017 434 459 341 338
Dec 4-8 2017 438 471 343 344
Jan 1-5 2018 452 490 345 350
Jan 29-Feb 2 2018 458 492 344 355
Feb 26-Mar 2 2018 461 497 346 361
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Nov 6-10 2017 403 409 216 272
Dec 4-8 2017 404 424 215 251
Jan 1-5 2018 409 474 219 256
Jan 29-Feb 2 2018 415 491 227 261
Feb 26-Mar 2 2018 416 496 233 279

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(SK/CZ)

Russ Quinn