DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — Fertilizer prices continued to hold fairly steady for the second week in a row, according to retailers contacted by DTN during the third week of April.

As was the case last week, four fertilizers were higher priced while the other four fertilizers were lower priced compared to last month.

None of the fertilizer prices changed by any consequence. DAP averaged $477/ton, MAP $502/ton, anhydrous $588/ton and UAN32 $322/ton.

The remaining four fertilizers were down a small amount compared to the month earlier. Potash averaged $366/ton, urea $388/ton, 10-34-0 $561/ton and UAN28 $274/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, urea averaged $0.42/lb.N, anhydrous $0.36/lb.N, UAN28 $0.49/lb.N and UAN32 $0.50/lb.N.

In the northern Corn Belt, spring planting has not fully begun. Andy Barta, assistant general manager for Rio Creek Feed Mill located in Algoma, Wisconsin, said some wheat had been top dressed and oats seeded in his northeast Wisconsin area but no corn has been planted yet.

Barta said it has been a relatively quiet season in terms of farmers pre-ordering fertilizer. Normally about three-quarters of his customers lock in some fertilizer during the end of the year and into winter months.

"This year we only had maybe 40% to 50% of our customers lock in fertilizer," Barta told DTN. "It was a combination of low grain and milk prices as well as farmers thinking fertilizer prices were going to fall."

As far as which direction retail prices could be heading, Barta said he believes there could be some in-season jumps with fertilizer this spring. These increases could be in the range of $10 to $30/ton and if there were some supply concerns these increases could be even more, he said.

Longer term, Barta said retail prices could drop some after the spring application season and after side dressing is completed.

"My gut says prices could sag some, especially if more soybeans are planted around here," he said. "Less corn acres would certain lower nitrogen prices."

Fertilizer prices tracked by DTN appear to have bottomed in late February. For example, average anhydrous prices have climbed more than $50/ton since then. But at the moment, all fertilizers remain double-digits lower in price compared to a year earlier.

UAN32 is 13% lower while both urea and 10-34-0 are 14% less expensive from a year ago. In addition, DAP and MAP are both 16% lower, anhydrous and UAN28 are 17% less expensive and potash is 26% lower.

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
Apr 20-24 2015 570 598 491 453
May 18-22 2015 570 597 492 459
June 15-19 2015 571 597 490 467
July 13-17 2015 569 593 488 470
Aug 10-14 2015 568 591 479 457
Sep 7-11 2015 563 580 467 433
Oct 5-9 2015 548 564 446 418
Nov 2-6 2015 546 560 430 405
Nov 30-Dec 4 2015 541 559 421 400
Dec 28-Jan 1 2016 494 531 398 383
Jan 25-29 2016 495 515 391 380
Feb 22-26 2016 477 492 373 371
Mar 21-25 2016 475 501 371 390
Apr 18-22 2016 477 502 366 388
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Apr 20-24 2015 650 711 329 371
May 18-22 2015 650 710 332 372
June 15-19 2015 642 706 330 369
July 13-17 2015 639 691 323 359
Aug 10-14 2015 631 677 315 356
Sep 7-11 2015 594 656 301 346
Oct 5-9 2015 584 639 294 338
Nov 2-6 2015 583 633 291 332
Nov 30-Dec 4 2015 578 627 286 332
Dec 28-Jan 1 2016 570 590 273 317
Jan 25-29 2016 571 569 271 317
Feb 22-26 2016 566 536 260 309
Mar 21-25 2016 561 569 276 312
Apr 18-22 2016 561 588 274 322

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(MZT/CZ)