By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter
OMAHA (DTN) — Some retail fertilizer prices are continuing to slip lower, but others have reversed course the first week of March, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN. This falls in line with reports of higher wholesale prices in recent weeks and signs the trend is spreading to the retail fertilizer market.
For the first time in many months, some fertilizers showed higher prices in DTN’s weekly survey. Three fertilizers had higher prices, but none of these were up any significant amount.
Urea averaged $374 per ton, 10-34-0 $566/ton and UAN32 $309/ton.
The remaining five fertilizers dipped lower, but again the move was slight. DAP averaged $476/ton, MAP $492/ton, potash $373/ton, anhydrous $537/ton and UAN28 $260/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was $0.41/lb.N, anhydrous $0.33/lb.N, UAN28 $0.47/lb.N and UAN32 $0.48/lb.N.
Among the reasons for retail fertilizer prices beginning to rise in recent weeks is the fact that fertilizer is being applied for the rapidly approaching growing season. Despite the fact we are just a few days into the month of March, anhydrous is now being applied as far north as Iowa.
Mike Carlson, who farms near Red Oak, Iowa, was busy applying anhydrous Monday morning March 7. And he wasn’t the only one in the southwest Iowa region applying fertilizer.
“Anhydrous is going on here like its April 7 and they are going to plant tomorrow,” Carlson told DTN. “I started today (Monday) and it is working great.”
Carlson said he purchased about half of his nitrogen needs (in the form of anhydrous) last fall. He then purchased the other half of his anhydrous in the last couple of weeks, he said.
The anhydrous he bought recently was about $63 per ton less expensive than what he paid last fall. While that is a nice price savings, he was hoping anhydrous would decline in price more than it ended up dropping, he said.
“My co-op said that anhydrous will only go up as everyone gets running this spring,” he said.
Carlson also noted he was kicking up dust in his fields while he was applying anhydrous. He is not too worried about dry field conditions yet as it always seems like his area gets plenty of moisture as soon as he hooks up his planter to his tractor.
Despite the recent price shuffle, all fertilizers remain double digits lower compared to a year ago. The smallest change is with 10-34-0, now down 10%.
DAP is now 16% lower, UAN32 17% less expensive and MAP 18% lower from a year earlier. In addition, both urea and UAN28 are 21% less expensive while both potash and anhydrous are 24% lower compared to a year earlier.
DTN collects roughly 1,700 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.
DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer prices in the DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.
Retail fertilizer charts dating back to November 2008 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts include cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.
DTN’s average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):
|Mar 2-6 2015||570||597||489||471|
|Mar 30-Apr 3 2015||569||598||491||462|
|Apr 27-May 1 2015||571||598||492||455|
|May 25-29 2015||570||597||492||459|
|June 22-26 2015||572||597||490||469|
|July 20-24 2015||569||594||487||469|
|Aug 17-21 2015||568||587||477||448|
|Sept 14-18 2015||563||579||462||432|
|Oct 12-16 2015||547||564||440||418|
|Nov 9-13 2015||547||561||426||405|
|Dec 7-11 2015||534||555||417||397|
|Jan 4-8 2016||495||521||392||381|
|Feb 1-5 2016||488||502||381||370|
|Feb 29-Mar 4 2016||476||492||373||374|
|Mar 2-6 2015||626||706||331||371|
|Mar 30-Apr 3 2015||642||708||333||370|
|Apr 27-May 1 2015||652||711||332||371|
|May 25-29 2015||650||710||332||371|
|June 22-26 2015||641||690||330||369|
|July 20-24 2015||636||689||324||354|
|Aug 17-21 2015||611||667||309||349|
|Sept 14-18 2015||593||653||300||345|
|Oct 12-16 2015||584||640||295||338|
|Nov 9-13 2015||581||631||289||332|
|Dec 7-11 2015||575||625||284||330|
|Jan 4-8 2016||572||582||273||316|
|Feb 1-5 2016||549||555||263||305|
|Feb 29-Mar 4 2016||566||537||260||309|
Russ Quinn can be reached at email@example.com