OMAHA (DTN) -- Prices for three nitrogen fertilizers spiked higher in the second week of December 2018, breaking out of a trend of moderate price increases, according to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN.
Seven of the eight major fertilizers DTN tracks are higher than last month.
UAN28 is 7% higher compared to a month earlier. It's up $16 per ton with an average price of $261/ton.
Anhydrous prices are 6% higher than the second week of November, with an average price of $552/ton. That's an increase of $33/ton.
UAN32 prices are $15/ton higher than last month, an increase of 5%, at $302/ton. UAN32 crossed the $300/ton level for the first time since the first week of August 2016, when the price was $307/ton.
Four other fertilizers' prices were slightly higher. DAP had an average price of $505/ton, up $5/ton; MAP $533/ton, up $3/ton; potash $375/ton, up $7/ton; and urea $407/ton, up less than a dollar per ton.
One fertilizer was slightly lower in price than last month. 10-34-0 had an average price of $455/ton, down $2/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.34/lb.N, UAN28 $0.47/lb.N and UAN32 $0.47/lb.N.
All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher in recent months. Potash is 9% more expensive, MAP is 11% higher, 10-34-0 is 13% more expensive, DAP is 15% higher, UAN32 is 18% more expensive, both UAN28 and urea are 20% higher, and anhydrous is now 27% higher compared to last year.
Higher fertilizer prices, especially nitrogen prices, certainly have the attention of farmers as the year comes to a close.
Jeremy Flikkema, who farms near Lanark, Illinois, said from talking to retailers in his northern Illinois area, the fall anhydrous price was about $100 per ton more than it was in the fall of 2017. From this fall to next spring, it will be about $150 per ton more expensive, he said.
"Our 2018 crop year to 2019 crop year, the ammonia price will increase 55%, or around $25 per acre, with just a 7% increase in the price of corn," Flikkema told DTN. "Prices around here are being quoted over $600/ton."
Normally, Flikkema will try to apply 75% to 95% of anhydrous ammonia in the fall, but he was only able to get about 5% of the fertilizer applied this fall due to uncooperative weather. He is uncertain about his plans for purchasing more of his nitrogen needs, as he can also utilize UAN32 and has some storage, he said.
The story is similar in Emery, South Dakota, where Josh Kayser farms. He normally spreads dry fertilizer on all of his acres that will be planted to soybeans next year. But, this fall, he was only able to cover about 80% of these acres.
"From talking with some local retailers, they only spread around a third of the acres they normally do in the fall," Kayser said. "It likely means a very busy spring and likely spot shortages, as a lot of product will need to be shipped in-season."
Kayser said they booked the majority of their fertilizer needs in late August, when the market showed signs of shifting higher. He estimated his fertilizer prices were about 5% higher than the year before when he locked them in.
From what has happened in the market since then, he said, it appears to be a good move. In his southeastern South Dakota region, nitrogen is roughly $60 per ton more expensive, while MAP and potash are both closer to $50 per ton higher year over year, he said.
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.
|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|
|Sep 17-21 2018||494||520||362||384|
|Oct 15-19 2018||498||518||365||405|
|Nov 12-16 2018||500||530||368||407|
|Dec 10-14 2018||505||533||375||407|
|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|
|Sep 17-21 2018||448||494||239||278|
|Oct 15-19 2018||457||494||243||283|
|Nov 12-16 2018||457||519||245||287|
|Dec 10-14 2018||455||552||261||302|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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