DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Fertilizer Prices Continue to Move Higher

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Urea prices gained 6% compared to the same week last month, averaging $385/ton. The fertilizer is 20% more expensive than the same time last year. (DTN Chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continue to be higher across the board, according to prices tracked by DTN for the fourth week of September 2018. For the third week in a row, all eight major fertilizers were higher compared to a month earlier.

Urea once again posted a significant move higher, gaining 6% compared to the fourth week of August. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $385 per ton.

The remaining seven fertilizers were all higher in price, but none were up a remarkable amount. DAP had an average price of $494/ton, MAP $520/ton, potash $361/ton, 10-34-0 $449/ton, anhydrous $493/ton, UAN28 $236/ton and UAN32 $278/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.42/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

Higher fertilizer prices in August and September confirm expectations for rising fertilizer costs in 2019, said University of Illinois ag economist Gary Schnitkey in a recent post on the farmdocDaily e-newsletter.

"Current price increases suggest $15 per acre higher costs for corn and $5 per acre higher costs for soybeans," Schnitkey wrote. "Cost increases will end a string of yearly declines in fertilizer costs that began in 2012."

According to data from USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, anhydrous ammonia prices in Illinois are close to $80 per ton higher for 2019 production than last year. Anhydrous prices averaged $512 per ton in August 2018 and $496 per ton in September 2018, with both prices above 2017 prices. The 2018 prices, however, are still below the average from 2009 through 2018.

Illinois' DAP prices are closer to $70/ton higher for 2019 production compared to 2018, according to University of Illinois data. The average DAP price in August 2018 was $488/ton, $55/ton higher than in the 2017 price of $433/ton.

DAP price for September 2018 was $506/ton, $80/ton higher than in 2017. As with anhydrous, DAP prices are below the 10-year average price of $528/ton for August and $535/ton in September.

Potash prices are near $35/ton higher for 2019 compared to 2018 in Illinois. Potash prices averaged $354/ton in August of 2018, $29/ton higher than the $325/ton price in 2017.

The September 2018 price was $357/ton, $37/ton higher than the $320/ton price in 2017. The 2018 potash price is also below 2009 to 2018 averages of $482/ton in August and $481/ton in September.

The data highlights a similar trend to what DTN's weekly price tracking indicates.

"Price declines could occur but should not be expected," Schnitkey wrote. "Historical price patterns suggest price increases and not price declines."

The entire report can be viewed at https://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/….

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher in recent months. Potash is 4% higher, 10-34-0 is 9% more expensive, both DAP and UAN28 are 14% higher, both MAP and UAN32 are now 15% more expensive, urea is 20% higher and anhydrous is now 24% 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
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
Sep 24-28 2018 494 520 361 385
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Sep 24-28 2018 449 493 236 278

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

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(KD/AG)

Russ Quinn