DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Remain Mixed

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Prices for anhydrous in the third week of August declined $20/ton compared to the same time last month, the largest price move of the eight fertilizers tracked by DTN. The average price is now $481/ton. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- According to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the third week of August 2018, prices continue to be evenly mixed. Price for half of the eight fertilizers tracked by DTN were slightly higher while the other half were lower for the second consecutive week.

The move in either direction was fairly muted, as has been the case for several months. Urea moved lower with an average price of $364/ton, anhydrous was $481/ton, UAN28 was $233/ton and UAN32 was $271/ton.

The remaining half were slightly higher compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $487/ton, MAP $514/ton, potash $356/ton and 10-34-0 $446/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.29/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.

While there are issues with low commodity prices and profitability in agriculture today, the farm economy is not all doom and gloom. David Widmar examines some of the positives in a new post in the Agricultural Economic Insights newsletter titled, "The Farm Economy is Not All Bad News: 8 Positive Stories in 2018."

One is a lower cost of production. Widmar said over the last several years the costs of production for corn, soybeans and wheat have all adjusted lower.

"What would have been a $5 per bushel economic breakeven for corn production a few years ago has fallen to almost $4 per bushel," Widmar wrote. "Most of the reductions have come from lower fertilizer price and cash rental rates."

Lower cost of production, on average, increases the chances that farmers can sell grain at prices near or above breakeven levels, he wrote. The other seven positive areas of the farm economy include improved economics for wheat, fewer U.S. corn and soybean acres in 2018, slowing global acreage expansion, historically low farm loan delinquencies rates, gradually rising interest rates that remain historically low, stabilizing farmland values and USDA's trade assistance program.

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher in recent months. Potash is 6% higher, 10-34-0 is 7% more expensive, UAN28 is 8% higher, UAN32 is 9% more expensive, both MAP and DAP are 12% higher, anhydrous is 15% higher and urea is 20% 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 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
Aug 20-24 2018 487 514 356 364
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Aug 20-24 2018 446 481 233 271

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(KD/BAS)

Russ Quinn