DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Farmers Delay Purchases Amid Stubbornly High Prices

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The retail price for anhydrous is 19% higher than the same time last year. The price of all eight major fertilizers tracked by DTN are higher than last year. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the fourth week of July 2018 once again show most fertilizers are slightly higher.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers were higher compared to last month, but none were up a substantial amount. DAP had an average price of $486/ton, potash $356/ton, urea $366/ton, 10-34-0 $442/ton, anhydrous $501/ton, UAN28 $243/ton and UAN32 $279/ton.

One fertilizer was slightly lower than the previous month. MAP had an average price of $504/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 $0.44/lb.N.

Farmers usually begin locking in fertilizer prices for the upcoming growing season during midsummer, but many are holding off amid stubbornly high prices.

Robert McCain, a farmer from near Kokomo, Indiana, told DTN he switched to spring fertilizer application on every one of his north-central Indiana acres a few years back to give him a larger window to shop for and purchase MAP and potash. He works with a reliable person who spreads the fertilizer in a timely fashion in the spring, he said.

"I haven't heard any current prices since May," said McCain, who grows corn, beans, wheat and raises hogs and cattle. "I will start contacting people within the next month or so."

McCain said he will apply ammonium sulfate (AMS) when the other fertilizer is applied to fully utilize the nitrogen. He also likes that AMS keeps sulfur from leaching, making more available to his corn plants.

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher in recent months. 10-34-0 is 4% higher; both potash and UAN32 are 5% more expensive; UAN28 is 6% higher; MAP is 9% more expensive; DAP is 12% higher; and both anhydrous and urea are now 19% more expensive compared to last 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
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
Jun 25-29 2018 485 505 354 364
Jul 23-27 2018 486 504 356 366
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Jul 10-14 2017 431 451 235 268
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
Jun 25-29 2018 440 504 242 277
Jul 23-27 2018 442 501 243 279

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(KD/CZ)

Russ Quinn