DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — According to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN for the second week of January 2017, fertilizer price trends continue to be stuck in a narrow price range. For the first time in recent weeks, however, more fertilizers are now trending slightly higher than lower.

Five of the eight major fertilizers edged higher although none by any substantial amount. Potash averaged $320/ton, urea $338/ton, anhydrous $467/ton, UAN28 $222/ton and UAN32 $258/ton.

The remaining three fertilizers were slightly lower but none of these moves to the low side were that significant. DAP averaged $432/ton, MAP $441/ton and 10-34-0 $437/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.37/lb.N, anhydrous $0.29/lb.N, UAN28 $0.40/lb.N and UAN32 $0.40/lb.N.

Retail fertilizer prices are moving this winter but the changes are fairly small. Two major factors appear to have come into play for spring pricing, according to Bob Spratt, manager of LeRoy Fertilizer Services located in LeRoy, Illinois.

"Potash and urea have moved up due to buying [demand] and supply being tight," Spratt told DTN. "But this is tempered with the fact that prices are still historically low."

While the phosphorus price outlook appears to be mostly flat this winter, the outlook for nitrogen appears to be less clear. The unknown factor that could affect nitrogen prices is the beginning of new nitrogen supply at the OCI fertilizer plant in Wever, Iowa.

DTN reported back in the fall that production was set to begin by the end of the year, according to an OCI spokesperson. However, some fertilizer industry experts at the time did not believe the plant would be begin producing nitrogen until the first quarter of 2017.

The product from that facility has to go somewhere and the new supply should distort the nitrogen market structure at least in the short term, he said.

"If anything, I would think nitrogen prices should remain flat," he said.

Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier and should offer relief to many farm budgets this season. All fertilizers are now double digits lower.

Urea remains down 11%, DAP is 13% less expensive, MAP is 15% lower and potash is 18% less expensive versus the same time a year ago. Both UAN28 and UAN32 are now 19% lower while anhydrous is 20% less expensive and 10-34-0 is 24% lower compared to a year prior.

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
Jan 11-15 2016 495 521 391 381
Feb 8-12 2016 479 499 378 369
Mar 7-11 2016 477 494 372 378
Apr 4-8 2016 480 504 369 387
May 2-6 2016 475 502 366 385
May 30-June 3 2016 473 499 363 375
June 27-July 1 2016 468 495 358 365
July 25-29 2016 459 492 356 356
Aug 22-26 2016 451 468 330 330
Sept 19-23 2016 443 453 319 323
Oct 17-21 2016 436 452 313 317
Nov 14-18 2016 436 445 315 327
Dec 12-16 2016 433 443 320 333
Jan 9-13 2017 432 441 320 338
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Jan 11-15 2016 572 581 272 319
Feb 8-12 2016 569 551 261 303
Mar 7-11 2016 562 541 262 312
Apr 4-8 2016 561 586 272 315
May 2-6 2016 560 589 274 321
May 30-June 3 2016 559 579 268 313
June 27-July 1 2016 554 566 266 304
July 25-29 2016 543 545 257 304
Aug 22-26 2016 502 515 234 280
Sept 19-23 2016 470 494 225 271
Oct 17-21 2016 453 475 224 265
Nov 14-18 2016 445 466 219 256
Dec 12-16 2016 444 463 219 257
Jan 9-13 2017 437 467 222 258

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

(MZT/SK)