Dakotaland Feeds, LLC

DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the first week of October continue to show the slow and steady price increases, a pattern that's been in place for several months. For the fourth week in a row, all eight major fertilizer prices are higher compared to a month earlier.

As has also been the case the last four weeks, one fertilizer had a substantial move higher. Urea prices are 6% higher compared to the first week of September. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $389/ton.

At $501/ton, it's the first time since DAP prices have crossed the $500/ton mark since the third week of December in 2015. At that time the price was at $519/ton.

The remaining six fertilizers were all higher in price than last month, but the price moves were less noteworthy. MAP had an average price $523/ton, potash $364/ton, 10-34-0 $451/ton, anhydrous $488/ton, UAN28 $237/ton and UAN32 $279/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.42/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.42/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.

Higher fertilizer prices are catching the attention of nearly everyone this fall. In a post from the Agricultural Economic Insights newsletter, David Widmar points out most retail fertilizer prices have been higher in recent months.

Using fertilizer prices from the USDA Illinois Production Costs report, he notes September prices were higher than in the spring for most fertilizers, with urea and DAP up 6% in recent months, while UAN28 and potash prices are both 2% higher.

"Anhydrous ammonia prices, so far have been contrarian and turned lower since spring, down 4%," Widmar wrote.

The story in nitrogen has been the urea/anhydrous ammonia price relationship with urea prices rising and anhydrous prices falling. The urea/anhydrous ammonia price relationship is, on average, usually at a ratio of 1.21. In other words, the price of a pound of nitrogen from urea is typically 1.21 times that of the price from anhydrous ammonia, he wrote.

This spring, the price relationship was at 1.24, very close to the average. Currently, the price relationship is at 1.37. Producers that have the option of using different sources of nitrogen might find anhydrous ammonia more attractive at current prices, he wrote.

"Historically, an uptick in the price relationship is typically short-lived," he wrote. "This is to say that it's not clear how long urea will be relatively higher-priced. The price relationship could change with urea falling or anhydrous ammonia prices increasing."

All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. Potash is 5% higher, 10-34-0 is 9% more expensive, UAN28 is 14% higher, UAN32 is now 15% more expensive, MAP is 16% higher, DAP is 18% more expensive, urea is 20% higher and anhydrous is now 22% more expensive compared to last year.

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.

This week in the DTN 360 Poll question we are asking a question about what your plan is for fall fertilizer applications. If you would like to answer the question, visit a DTN website.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Oct 2-6 2017 425 453 348 323
Oct 27-Nov 3 2017 434 455 348 330
Nov 27-Dec 1 2017 435 460 342 340
Dec 25-29 2017 448 488 344 348
Jan 22-26 2018 458 492 344 353
Feb 19-23 2018 460 496 345 357
Mar 19-23 2018 469 504 349 368
Apr 16-20 2018 484 502 353 368
May 14-18 2018 483 505 354 368
Jun 11-15 2018 484 505 354 364
Jul 9-13 2018 485 504 354 366
Aug 6-10 2018 487 507 356 363
Sep 3-7 2018 488 514 358 366
Oct 1-5 2018 501 523 364 389
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Oct 2-6 2017 413 399 208 243
Oct 27-Nov 3 2017 405 401 208 262
Nov 27-Dec 1 2017 403 417 216 271
Dec 25-29 2017 407 468 216 254
Jan 22-26 2018 415 490 226 261
Feb 19-23 2018 416 495 231 265
Mar 19-23 2018 422 503 236 269
Apr 16-20 2018 431 508 240 275
May 14-18 2018 439 510 241 276
Jun 11-15 2018 440 503 241 277
Jul 9-13 2018 443 505 242 279
Aug 6-10 2018 445 482 233 271
Sep 3-7 2018 446 480 232 271
Oct 1-5 2018 451 488 237 279

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(KD/BAS)

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