DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Majority of Fertilizers Continue Higher

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Most of the major fertilizers are higher compared to last year, with potash climbing 4% higher.

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continue to be mostly higher, according to prices tracked by DTN for the third week of May 2018. Like off and on in recent weeks, there are some possible signs that fertilizer prices may be weakening.

Five of the eight major fertilizer were once again higher in price compared to last month, although none were up a considerable amount. MAP had an average price of $504/ton, potash $354/ton, 10-34-0 $439/ton and UAN28 $241/ton.

Three fertilizers were slightly lower in price compared to the previous month. DAP had an average price of $483/ton, urea $364/ton and UAN32 $276/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.

With a majority of spring planted crop already in the ground -- 92% of the corn nationally, and 77% of soybeans, as of May 27, according to the most recent USDA weekly Crop Progress report -- a logical assumption might be fertilizer prices would drop in prices because of less demand. While this could still happen, most fertilizers do not appear set to decline in price anytime soon.

Mark Rohrich, who operates Maverick Ag, a full-service agronomy company, and farms near Ashley, North Dakota, told DTN he hasn't heard much about what possible direction fertilizer prices could head in the future. Retailers and farmers in the Northern Plains are still busy seeding, he added.

"I think that pressure has kept the (fertilizer) price there, as well as supply and logistics," Rohrich told DTN.

Keeping fertilizer moving out to fields has been a major challenge during the busy spring season in North Dakota.

There has been reports of spot fertilizer outages in some part of the state, he said. Retailers have had a difficult time replacing tons on hand before it was sent out to the fields.

In response, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed an emergency executive order on May 10 granting a waiver of hours of service for drivers of commercial vehicles transporting fertilizers. State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring requested the waiver to ensure that sufficient fertilizer resources for farmers and the waiver on fertilizer lasts through May 30, according to a press release from the office of the governor.

"Electric Logging Device (ELD) definitely put a cramp on rush delivery," he said.

Six of the eight major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year, with prices pushing higher in recent months. Both 10-34-0 and anhydrous are now up 1%, potash is 4% higher, urea is 6% more expensive, MAP is 7% higher and DAP is 11% more expensive compared to last year.

The remaining two fertilizers are lower in price compared to a year prior. UAN32 is 1% lower, while UAN28 is 3% 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 include 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
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
Mar 26-30 2018 470 506 350 370
Apr 23-27 2018 485 504 353 367
May 21-25 2018 483 504 354 364
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Mar 26-30 2018 425 507 237 272
Apr 23-27 2018 431 507 241 277
May 21-25 2018 439 504 241 276

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(ES/BAS)

Russ Quinn