DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — Retail fertilizer prices all moved higher, but the shift is not very significant, according to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the third week of January 2015. That repeats last week’s survey pattern.

All eight of the major fertilizers crept higher compared to a month earlier. DAP had an average price of $568 per ton, MAP $596/ton, potash $487/ton and urea $469/ton. 10-34-0 had an average price of $585/ton, anhydrous $707/ton, UAN28 $326/ton and UAN32 $367/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.51/lb.N, anhydrous $0.43/lb.N, UAN28 $0.58/lb.N and UAN32 $0.57/lb.N.

Retailers report that pre-purchasing fertilizer this winter has been less common than what they normally see. While many farmers may be holding off locking in their fertilizer needs because of what they perceive as high prices, weather may also be a factor, according to Bob Spratt, a fertilizer retailer from LeRoy, Ill.

"Prepays have been slower than in the recent past for us, but that is more due to the late fall," Spratt told DTN.

As for retail prices, Spratt said prices are inching higher probably because of the uncertainty about how many acres will be planted to corn versus how many acres will go to soybeans this spring. More corn acres would probably push fertilizer prices higher while more soybean acres could cause retail prices to slide lower some.

"If we knew what March was going to be like, it would help clear that up," he said.

Half of the eight major fertilizers are now double digits higher in price compared to January 2014, all while commodity prices are significantly lower from a year ago. 10-34-0 is 18% higher, anhydrous is 15% more expensive and both MAP and DAP are now 11% more expensive. In addition, potash is 3% higher compared to a year earlier.

Three nutrients are now lower compared to retail prices from a year ago. Both UAN28 and UAN32 are now 2% less expensive and urea is 4% less expensive from a year previous.

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 over the past year ($ per ton):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Jan 20-24 2014 512 537 472 489
Feb 10-14 2014 529 554 471 509
Feb 17-21 2014 537 530 472 519
Mar 17-21 2014 565 586 475 538
Apr 14-18 2014 586 617 475 552
May 12-16 2014 594 630 479 554
June 9-13 2014 594 630 482 541
July 7-11 2014 590 621 483 531
Aug 4-8 2014 589 609 474 518
Sept 1-5 2014 581 599 475 517
Sept 29-Oct 3 2014 579 599 478 514
Oct 27-31 2014 579 598 478 503
Nov 24-28 2014 576 595 480 492
Dec 22-26 2014 566 593 485 462
Jan 19-23 2015 568 596 487 469
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Jan 20-24 2014 498 616 332 374
Feb 10-14 2014 505 620 338 384
Feb 17-21 2014 509 620 341 387
Mar 17-21 2014 517 630 348 392
Apr 14-18 2014 525 685 355 401
May 12-16 2014 552 699 355 406
June 9-13 2014 562 703 357 404
July 7-11 2014 561 686 348 399
Aug 4-8 2014 556 686 337 378
Sept 1-5 2014 555 683 330 377
Sept 29-Oct 3 2014 556 695 328 374
Oct 27-31 2014 558 701 327 373
Nov 24-28 2014 564 712 323 368
Dec 22-26 2014 573 706 320 362
Jan 19-23 2015 585 707 326 367

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

(MZT/AG)