DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

Prices of All But One Fertilizer Still Higher

Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
Anhydrous had an average retail price of $508 per ton the fourth week of March 2017, 12% lower than at the same time last year. (DTN chart)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Prices of the majority of retail fertilizers are higher again for the fourth week of March 2017 compared to a month earlier, though none were up significantly, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.

This was the second week in a row that not all fertilizer prices were higher.

DAP had an average price of $438 per ton, MAP $465/ton, potash $338/ton, anhydrous $508/ton, UAN28 $248/ton and UAN32 $279/ton.

The one fertilizer that was lower in price compared to the previous month was urea. The nitrogen fertilizer was just slightly lower in price compared to a month ago. Urea's average price was $356 per ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

Despite the recent rainy weather, most of the fertilizer for the upcoming 2017 growing season appears to have been applied already in many locations across the Corn Belt.

Brent Hall, agronomy manager for South Central Cooperative located in Lacona, Iowa, said roughly 80% of their anhydrous acres and 75% of their dry fertilizer acres have already been applied.

"We are still sitting pretty good right before planting here," Hall told DTN. "It helped it was so open and we could go in February there."

Hall said that after the last few months of slightly increasing fertilizer prices, he expects retail prices should be fairly flat in the Midwest the rest of this spring as fieldwork moves its way north. Demand for fertilizer should lessen to a certain extent with more Southern areas having most of their fertilizer already applied, he said.

With anhydrous the main source of nitrogen for his farmer customers in south-central Iowa, Hall said he isn't too concerned about getting the last acres covered with fertilizer before corn planting begins in the region despite rains over the last couple of weeks. Normally, planting starts about April 10, but it may be delayed if the rain continues.

"We shouldn't have any problems getting the last bit applied," he said. "If it continues to rain, they wouldn't be planting corn anytime soon anyway."

Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. Three of the eight major fertilizers are still double-digits lower.

10-34-0 is 21% lower from a year ago, anhydrous is 12% less expensive and UAN32 is 11% lower. Potash is 9% lower while DAP, urea and UAN28 are all 8% less expensive and MAP is 7% lower to year earlier.

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
Mar 28-Apr 1 2016 478 501 370 386
Apr 25-29 2016 476 502 366 386
May 23-27 2016 476 501 365 381
June 20-24 2016 470 495 358 366
July 18-22 2016 464 493 357 357
Aug 15-19 2016 452 471 333 337
Sept 12-16 2016 444 458 320 324
Oct 10-14 2016 438 452 313 316
Nov 7-11 2016 429 449 314 323
Dec 5-9 2016 434 443 318 333
Jan 2-6 2017 431 442 322 339
Jan 30-Feb 3 2017 430 448 329 353
Feb 27-Mar 03 2017 436 458 335 361
Mar 27-31 2017 438 465 338 356
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Mar 28-Apr 1 2016 561 580 268 315
Apr 25-29 2016 560 587 274 321
May 23-27 2016 560 587 274 321
June 20-24 2016 554 567 265 305
July 18-22 2016 546 546 260 304
Aug 15-19 2016 513 516 238 285
Sept 12-16 2016 474 496 233 272
Oct 10-14 2016 454 475 224 264
Nov 7-11 2016 447 468 217 256
Dec 5-9 2016 445 463 219 257
Jan 2-6 2017 436 465 218 255
Jan 30-Feb 3 2017 439 482 236 270
Feb 27-Mar 03 2017 440 502 246 279
Mar 27-31 2017 441 508 248 279

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(AG/BAS)