DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — For the second week in a row, average retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN slid lower, though the declines were slight.

For the fourth week of July 2014, all eight of the major fertilizers were lower compared to last month, though none were down by any consequence once again.

DAP had an average price of $585 per ton, MAP $617/ton, potash $483/ton, urea $527/ton, 10-34-0 $562/ton, anhydrous $683/ton, UAN28 $345/ton and UAN32 $394/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.57/lb.N, anhydrous $0.42/lb.N, UAN28 $0.62/lb.N and UAN32 $0.62/lb.N.

While the fertilizer application season is a couple months away, midsummer is a time when some farmers begin to pre-purchase fertilizer to lock in the price, especially for fall application. With commodity prices trending lower and retail fertilizer predicted to do the same, this midsummer time may be a slow time for fertilizer retailers booking their customers’ fertilizer needs.

Levi Taylor farms near Ypsilanti, N.D., in the southeastern area of the state with his family. He has pre-purchased fertilizer in past years, both for fall application as well as spring application.

Taylor believes very few farmers will be locking in fertilizer prices with the current market conditions.

"With low corn prices, I think paying on the go will be the best option," Taylor told DTN in an email. "Producers don’t want to be locked in to so many acres of fertilizer this early."

The one input Taylor said he will consider locking in the price of before harvest is propane. Looking at propane recently, it is at levels right now that could be the beginning of an upward price movement, he said.

Scott Wallis is another Midwest farmer who has not locked in any of his fertilizer needs yet. Wallis farms near Princeton, Ind., in the southwest part of the Hoosier State.

"I haven’t locked any fertilizer in yet, but I did receive a price that was higher than last year’s which surprised me," Wallis said in an email.

With fertilizers moving higher earlier in the year, just one of the eight major fertilizers is now double-digits lower in price compared to July of 2013.

DAP, MAP and urea are all now nearly unchanged from last year. 10-34-0 is down 6% while anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32 are all now 7% less expensive. Potash is 14% lower compared to a 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 November 2008 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
Aug 19-23 2013 569.81 598.99 545.90 489.00
Sept 16-20 2013 540.76 579.26 505.67 452.06
Oct 14-18, 2013 524.33 566.31 493.04 441.57
Nov 11-15 2013 515.93 564.43 489.75 441.10
Dec 9-13 2013 505.69 546.69 483.20 441.68
Jan 6-10 2014 492.78 513.09 474.08 458.30
Feb 3-7 2014 521.24 550.48 470.01 502.95
Mar 3-7 2014 553.29 569.88 473.86 531.25
Mar 31-Apr 4 2014 578.78 599.25 474.61 546.33
Apr 28-May 2 2014 597.13 624.99 476.43 559.75
May 26-30 2014 595.94 630.78 480.02 551.35
June 23-27 2014 594.83 629.02 483.44 535.42
July 21-25 2014 585.40 617.46 482.98 527.46
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Aug 19-23 2013 566.85 696.66 347.99 392.06
Sept 16-20 2013 532.52 661.79 329.67 372.34
Oct 14-18, 2013 521.65 654.02 323.39 368.93
Nov 11-15 2013 518.83 644.82 320.70 367.75
Dec 9-13 2013 514.50 634.59 318.17 360.82
Jan 6-10 2014 504.68 619.42 318.90 364.24
Feb 3-7 2014 498.31 617.23 334.24 381.71
Mar 3-7 2014 510.67 622.25 343.38 388.53
Mar 31-Apr 4 2014 514.88 659.53 351.01 395.53
Apr 28-May 2 2014 535.72 695.14 355.65 403.11
May 26-30 2014 558.90 702.05 355.65 406.38
June 23-27 2014 562.15 700.44 354.58 402.79
July 21-25 2014 561.56 683.14 345.14 393.96

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

(AG)