DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — Fertilizer prices are continuing in their recent, somewhat steady price range, according to retailers tracked by DTN for the first week of April 2015.

Five of the eight major fertilizers edged higher in price compared to a month earlier, but these moves were fairly minor. MAP averaged $598/ton, potash $491/ton, 10-34-0 $648/ton, anhydrous $709/ton and UAN28 $333/ton.

Three fertilizers slipped lower compared to the previous month, but none were down any significant amount. DAP had an average price of $570/ton, urea $461/ton and UAN32 $370/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.50/lb.N, anhydrous $0.43/lb.N, UAN28 $0.59/lb.N and UAN32 $0.58/lb.N.

In a University of Illinois farmdocDaily report titled "2015 Planting Intentions: Fertilizer, Seed and Pesticide Manufacturers Dodge a Bullet," ag economist Gary Schnitkey wrote that input manufacturers likely took comfort in USDA’s 2015 Prospective Planting report. Projected acre switches from corn to soybeans were less than what many had anticipated.

"Overall, input manufacturers likely prefer to see more corn acres than soybean acres because farmer costs are higher for corn," Schnitkey wrote. "Having more corn acres increases the chances of higher gross revenues for input manufacturers."

According to the 2015 Illinois Crop Budgets, on highly-productive central Illinois farmland fertilizer costs are projected to be at $148 per acre for corn after soybeans compared to $49 per acre for soybeans. Seed costs were $124 per acre for corn compared to $78 per acre for beans and pesticide costs were $66 per acre for corn compared to $40 per acre for soybeans.

Schnitkey said farmers will face lower 2015 incomes if corn and soybean prices remain at their current levels. If corn prices continue to be below $4.40 into the fall, farmers will see mounting pressure to reduce 2016 cash outflows through reduced rents and reduced fertilizer, seed and pesticide expenditures.

"Input manufacturers, however, may not see the need to reduce input prices, as corn acres did not decrease significantly in 2015 while input prices were high," he wrote. "Therefore, not having a significant corn acreage reduction in 2015 may mean less downward pressure on input prices for 2016 production."

The entire farmdocDaily report can be read at: http://farmdocdaily.illinois.edu/….

One of the eight major fertilizers is now double-digits higher in price compared to April of 2014, while commodity prices are significantly lower from a year ago. 10-34-0 is 25% higher compared to last year.

Two other fertilizers are slightly more expensive compared to a year earlier. Anhydrous is 5% more expensive while potash is 3% higher more expensive compared to a year earlier.

The remaining five nutrients are now lower compared to retail prices from a year ago. MAP is 1% less expensive, DAP is 3% lower, UAN28 is down 6%, UAN32 is down 7% and urea is 16% less expensive than a year ago.

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 7-11 2014 585 606 475 548
May 5-9 2014 594 631 477 560
June 2-6 2014 596 631 482 544
June 30-July 4 2014 592 623 483 535
July 28-Aug 1 2014 587 610 476 519
August 25-29 2014 585 602 475 517
Sept 22-26 2014 579 600 473 510
Oct 20-24 2014 582 599 478 507
Nov 17-21 2014 576 595 480 493
Dec 15-19 2014 565 592 483 461
Jan 12-16 2015 566 594 486 465
Feb 9-13 2015 569 597 488 473
Mar 9-13 2015 570 597 489 471
Apr 6-Apr 10 2015 570 598 491 461
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Apr 7-11 2014 517 675 352 398
May 5-9 2014 490 698 353 406
June 2-6 2014 562 708 357 404
June 30-July 4 2014 564 694 352 400
July 28-Aug 1 2014 542 671 339 380
August 25-29 2014 555 699 332 371
Sept 22-26 2014 555 694 329 377
Oct 20-24 2014 557 697 327 367
Nov 17-21 2014 560 709 322 366
Dec 15-19 2014 572 705 322 362
Jan 12-16 2015 582 710 325 364
Feb 9-13 2015 589 707 330 370
Mar 9-13 2015 626 706 331 371
Apr 6-Apr 10 2015 648 709 333 370

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

(MZT/CZ)