DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Evenly Mixed

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The retail price of anhydrous declined $22 to $481 per ton in the second week of August compared to the month prior. (DTN Chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices are mixed for the second week of August with half lower than last month and the other half higher, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. It has been several months since this many fertilizers have been lower.

While four major fertilizer prices declined, the move to the lower side was fairly muted. Urea had an average price of $363 per ton, anhydrous $481/ton, UAN28 $233/ton and UAN32 $271/ton.

Prices for the remaining half were slightly higher than last month. DAP had an average price of $487/ton, MAP $508/ton, potash $356/ton and 10-34-0 $446/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.29/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.

Lower grain prices have thrown agricultural stocks off the bull market in recent years, but Wall Street appears to be warming to the fertilizer industry. Three large companies -- CF Industries Holdings, the Mosaic Co. and Nutrien (the company created from the PotashCorp and Agrium merger) -- all saw a lift in early August following good second-quarter earnings, according to Dow Jones.

"The new supply, which was coming on fairly rapidly, is slowing its advance," Charlie Neivert, a chemical analyst at Cowen & Co., said in the article. "And demand, which constantly increases, is catching up."

Corn prices have stayed fairly stable despite the Trump administration's escalation of trade tensions, while prices have been rising for fertilizers. Nutrien CEO Chuck Margo said the fundamentals of the industry are improving and the supply-and-demand fundamentals could grow tight by the 2020-21 season.

The shares of fertilizer companies' stock fell significantly alongside crop prices since 2015.

Shares of CF Industries, the leading nitrogen producer, slid from $70 to $22. The company's revenue recovered last year and grew for the first time in several years. CF stock moved up 12% on Aug. 1 this year to $49.

Much of the world's demand growth for fertilizer is in Brazil, Russia, India and China, according to Mosaic CEO Joc O'Rourke. He expects Brazilian demand for potash and phosphate fertilizer to grow alongside the nation's soybean production.

O'Rourke said he isn't happy about the impacts of the U.S.-China trade war on American farmers. However, Mosaic is hedged against that problem because U.S. farmers' losses are Brazilian farmers' gain.

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher in recent months. Potash is 5% higher, 10-34-0 is 6% more expensive, both UAN28 and UAN32 are 8% higher, MAP is 11% higher, DAP is 12% more expensive, anhydrous is 15% higher and urea is 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
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
Jun 18-22 2018 485 505 354 364
Jul 16-20 2018 486 505 354 366
Aug 13-17 2018 487 508 356 363
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Jun 18-22 2018 440 503 242 277
Jul 16-20 2018 442 503 243 279
Aug 13-17 2018 446 481 233 271

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(KD/AG)

Russ Quinn