DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Prices for Majority of Fertilizers Still Higher

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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The average retail price for anhydrous increased $7/ton from last month, coming in at $524. It's 24% more expensive than last year. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices continue their pattern of mostly higher prices the first week of December 2018, according to prices tracked by DTN.

Five of the eight major fertilizers are slightly higher, but none had a noteworthy price move compared to last month. Potash had an average price of $369 per ton, up $1/ton; urea was $3/ton higher at $410/ton; anhydrous was $7/ton more expensive at $524/ton; UAN28 saw a $4/ton increase to $249/ton; and UAN32 prices, at $293/ton, were $6/ton higher.

Two fertilizers were slightly lower than last month, but the price change was fairly subdued. DAP had an average price of $501/ton, down $5/ton while 10-34-0 was $1/ton cheaper at $457/ton.

MAP prices were unchanged from last month at $529/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.45/lb.N, anhydrous $0.32/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N and UAN32 $0.46/lb.N.

All eight of the major retail fertilizer prices are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher in recent months. Potash is 8% more expensive, MAP is 12% higher, 10-34-0 is 13% more expensive, DAP is 14% higher, UAN28 is 16% more expensive, UAN32 is 17% higher, urea is 19% more expensive and anhydrous is now 24% higher compared to last year.

I attended the 2018 Fertilizer Outlook and Technology Conference in Jacksonville, Florida, last month where various speakers shared insight into what is happening with fertilizer capacity, production, demand and prices, while also giving outlooks for 2019.

Alistair Wallace, a fertilizer analyst for London-based Integer Research Ltd., told attendees that, based on pure capacity and demand forecast, the nitrogen market looks oversupplied. However, other factors like plant closures, Chinese policy changes and United States sanctions on Iran could make the nitrogen market much tighter.

Wallace said the demand growth for urea has slowed in recent years for many reasons, including supply constraints. Chinese nitrogen manufacturers are idling nitrogen plants to meet changing environmental regulations to limit emissions, and this is predicted to continue for coming years.

You can see the whole story on the nitrogen market at https://www.dtnpf.com/….

As for phosphorous, the global market appears to be well-balanced heading in 2019, but there are signs pointing to possible supply issues, with China's environmental regulations potentially having an impact on production and exports.

Mike Rahm, vice president of market and strategic analysis for The Mosaic Company, still sees phosphorous shipments growing.

"Excluding China, demand increased 5.0% or 2.5 million metric tons in 2017," Rahm said during his speech. "We project shipments outside of China will increase 2.8% for 1.5 mmt this year."

The whole story about phosphorous can be found at https://www.dtnpf.com/….

Despite global potash prices at the highest level in three years, the market outlook is for more capacity than new demand, according to Humphrey Knight, potash analyst for CRU International Ltd. in London. He said that potash became more affordable in mid-2016, and thus led to record 2017 global demand.

The U.S. is one of the areas seeing increased use of potash with applications on corn up by 24% and soybean applications 18% higher from 2012 to 2017.

"Fall application pushed 2017 demand to a record high, with 2018 demand currently following closely," Knight said.

However, he explained the role China and India are playing in the market, and what are some of the internal supply issues affecting potash capacity, including in Canada.

You can find those details at https://www.dtnpf.com/….

During the rest of December, DTN will share more insight into what is happening with fertilizer internationally as the Global Fertilizer Outlook series continues.

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.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
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
Sep 10-14 2018 491 518 362 380
Oct 8-12 2018 501 523 365 393
Nov 5-9 2018 506 529 368 407
Dec 3-7 2018 501 529 369 410
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Sep 10-14 2018 449 487 238 278
Oct 8-12 2018 452 488 238 280
Nov 5-9 2018 458 517 245 287
Dec 3-7 2018 457 524 249 293

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(KD/AG)

Russ Quinn