DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Retail Fertilizer Prices Continue to Creep Higher

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The average retail price of anhydrous the first week of April 2018 was $508 per ton, up about 2% from $499 per ton last month. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued to creep higher the first week of April 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. This marks the fourth straight week that prices for most of the eight major fertilizers have been higher compared to last month.

However, for the third consecutive week, no fertilizer price was up a significant amount. DAP had an average price of $478 per ton, MAP $508/ton, potash $352/ton, urea $370/ton, 10-34-0 $425/ton, anhydrous $508/ton, UAN28 $239/ton and UAN32 $274/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.43/lb.N and UAN32 $0.43/lb.N.

Nitrogen prices in 2018 was the subject of an April 3 article titled "Nitrogen Prices, Rates Cuts and 2018 Fertilizer Costs" in the Farmdoc Daily newsletter from the University of Illinois. Author Gary Schnitkey wrote that, with nitrogen prices increasing in recent months, the fertilizer has now reached roughly the same level as what was seen in 2017.

Using USDA's Illinois Production Cost Report from March 29, anhydrous prices averaged $522 per ton in the state this year. This is more than $100 per ton higher than in September 2017 when the average price was $401 per ton.

"The $401 per ton is the lowest price in the history of anhydrous ammonia prices contained in the Illinois Production Cost Report," Schnitkey wrote.

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"To achieve lower nitrogen fertilizer costs in 2018 than in 2017, many farmers will have to cut rates. Farmers who apply above agronomically recommended levels may consider reducing rates to save some money on inputs," he said.

Schnitkey pointed out that a 10-pound nitrogen application above the maximum return to nitrogen (MRTN) would require applications of 12.2 lbs. (a pound of anhydrous ammonia contains 0.82 lbs. of nitrogen) of anhydrous ammonia. At a $525-per-ton nitrogen price, this 12.2 lbs. of ammonia would have a cost of $3.20 per acre (12.2 lbs. x $525/ton / 2,000 lbs.).

"Farmers applying above MRTNs may consider reducing rates as a means of reducing costs while at the same time increasing expected returns from corn production," he wrote.

To read the entire report, visit http://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/….

Five of the eight major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices pushing higher in recent months. Anhydrous is now 1% higher, potash is 4% more expensive, urea is 5% higher and both DAP and MAP are 9% more expensive than last year.

The remaining three fertilizers are lower in price compared to a year prior. UAN32 is 2% less expensive while both 10-34-0 and UAN28 are 4% less expensive 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
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
Jan 8-12 2018 456 491 346 352
Feb 5-9 2018 458 493 344 355
Mar 5-9 2018 463 503 349 367
Apr 2-6 2018 478 508 352 370
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Jan 8-12 2018 410 479 220 258
Feb 5-9 2018 415 492 227 261
Mar 5-9 2018 422 499 234 272
Apr 2-6 2018 425 508 239 274

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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Russ Quinn