DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Majority of Fertilizer Prices Trend Lower

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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While anhydrous prices are $18 per ton less expensive than last month, they're still $63/ton higher than the same time last year. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- More retail fertilizer prices are lower than higher for the first time in several months, according to prices tracked by DTN for the fourth week of August 2018. Prices for five of the eight major fertilizers declined compared to last month, while the remaining three were still higher.

The moves in either direction were fairly small. Moving lower were DAP, which had an average price of $487 per ton, urea $365/ton, anhydrous $480/ton, UAN28 $233/ton and UAN32 $271/ton.

The remaining three fertilizers were slightly higher compared to last month. MAP had an average price of $513/ton, potash $357/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 retail fertilizer prices appear to be moving lower, some farmers are experiencing sticker shock when pricing fall fertilizer, especially anhydrous.

Mike Carlson, a farmer from Red Oak, Iowa, told DTN that when he called his local fertilizer retailer recently, he discovered anhydrous prices were about $100 per ton more than what he paid last year at the same time. The average retail price for anhydrous tracked by DTN is $63/ton higher than last year.

"I got a lot of excuses (for higher anhydrous prices)," Carlson told DTN. "Tariffs, demand versus supply, more corn acres because of low bean prices, etc., so basically it's higher because they can."

Carlson said he normally books anhydrous prices this time of year because this is when it is usually the least expensive, but that doesn't appear to be the case this year, he said.

The southwestern Iowa farmer said he will also apply phosphorous (P) and potash (K) in the fall so the fertilizer has a chance to be worked in by the weather. Fall prices for these nutrients also tend to be lower, but he hasn't booked any yet.

"No input (prices) are going down and it's becoming a serious problem," he said.

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, both UAN28 and UAN32 are 9% higher, 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 28-Sept 1 2017 433 457 338 303
Sep 15-29 2017 432 453 348 321
Oct 23-27 2017 431 453 347 325
Nov 20-24 2017 435 460 342 338
Dec 18-22 2017 445 485 344 348
Jan 15-19 2018 456 491 345 355
Feb 12-16 2018 457 495 345 357
Mar 12-16 2018 466 503 350 368
Apr 9-13 2018 482 504 353 369
May 7-11 2018 483 505 354 366
Jun 4-8 2018 484 505 354 364
Jul 2-6 2018 485 504 354 366
Jul 30- Aug 3 2018 488 505 355 366
Aug 27-31 2018 487 513 357 365
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Aug 28-Sept 1 2017 418 417 215 248
Sep 15-29 2017 413 396 208 243
Oct 23-27 2017 407 393 205 262
Nov 20-24 2017 403 410 216 272
Dec 18-22 2017 405 461 218 254
Jan 15-19 2018 407 485 226 260
Feb 12-16 2018 415 492 230 264
Mar 12-16 2018 421 503 237 282
Apr 9-13 2018 427 510 241 275
May 7-11 2018 431 512 241 276
Jun 4-8 2018 440 503 241 276
Jul 2-6 2018 443 505 242 279
Jul 30- Aug 3 2018 443 498 242 279
Aug 27-31 2018 446 480 233 271

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

(KD/AG)

Russ Quinn