DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Retail Prices for Most Fertilizers Finally Move Lower

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Urea had an average retail price of $364 per ton the fourth week of May 2018, down about 1% from $368 per ton the fourth week of April 2018. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices finally began to decline the fourth week of May 2018 as spring application wrapped up, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. After weeks of prices for a few fertilizers moving slightly lower and then rising again, this is the first week most fertilizer prices are lower.

Prices for five of the eight major fertilizers were lower compared to last month, marking the first week since October 2017 that prices for a majority of fertilizers were lower. While none were down significantly, the fact that most prices were lower is a significant milestone.

DAP had an average price of $483 per ton, MAP $504/ton, urea $364/ton, anhydrous $504/ton and UAN32 $276/ton.

Prices for the remaining three fertilizers were slightly higher than they were the previous month. Potash had an average price of $354/ton, 10-34-0 $439/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.

Fred Butt, a sales agronomist with Donovan Farmers Co-op Elevator, Inc. Donovan, Illinois, told DTN that despite the slight fall in retail fertilizer prices this past week, prices for most fertilizers probably won't see much of a decline in the coming weeks and months.

"I'm told (fertilizer) producer margins are tight and oncoming production isn't without problems," Butt said. "Bottom line is next year's nitrogen pricing will probably be equal to or maybe even more than in 2018."

The UAN price has held fairly firm in recent weeks with sidedressing still happening in some parts of the Corn Belt. With more producers utilizing this application method, it has extended the fertilizer application window compared to past years with less sidedressing.

The same fate likely awaits anhydrous prices, as sidedressing is wrapping up in some locations and continuing in other places, according to Butt.

As for phosphorus and potash fertilizers, Butt said not much is happening with prices of either nutrient.

Phosphorus producers are been fairly quiet in recent weeks and are not really sharing any fill prices, Butt said. Potash, meanwhile, has had decent movements, but prices are expected to remain fairly flat, 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, MAP is 7% more expensive, urea is 8% 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 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
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
Apr 30-May 4 2018 485 505 353 368
May 28-June 1 2018 483 504 354 364
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Apr 30-May 4 2018 431 510 241 277
May 28-June 1 2018 439 504 241 276

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(AG/BAS)

Russ Quinn