DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices picked up where they left off at the end of 2017, continuing to move higher the first week of January 2018, according to retailers surveyed by DTN.

For the first time in several weeks, all eight of the major fertilizers are now higher. However, the price of only one fertilizer was up by a significant amount.

Anhydrous is 12% more expensive compared to last month and has an average price of $474 per ton.

Prices for the remaining seven fertilizers were higher compared to the prior month, but none were up significantly. DAP had an average price of $452/ton, MAP $490/ton, potash $345/ton, urea $350/ton, 10-34-0 $409/ton, UAN28 $219/ton and UAN32 $256/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.38/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.40/lb.N.

The rising retail prices of fertilizers in recent months have been gathering more and more attention, both from farmers and agricultural economists.

Farmers on social media continue to have strong opinions about higher fertilizer prices. On the DTN/The Progressive Farmer Facebook page, fertilizer-related articles, such as "N Prices on the Rise" (http://bit.ly/…) from Dec. 26 had well over 50 comments.

On the ag economist side, higher fertilizer price projections for the 2018 growing season are changing crop budgets and plans for 2018. In a post titled "Ready or Not, Here Comes 2018" dated Jan. 8 from the Agricultural Economic Insights website, authors Brent Gloy and David Widmar look at some of the issues facing the ag economy in 2018.

The good news for crop producers is the cost of production has declined significantly from just a few years ago, they reported.

However, there is some bad news as well.

"Most of these declines have come in the form of lower fertilizer prices," Gloy and Widmar wrote. "Heading into 2018, it appears that fertilizer is starting to firm, so producers may have to look elsewhere for further cost reductions."

The Agricultural Economic Insight article can be found at http://bit.ly/….

All but one fertilizer is now higher compared to last year with prices pushing higher in recent weeks. Both UAN28 and UAN32 are now 1% more expensive, anhydrous is 2% higher, urea is 3% more expensive, DAP is 5% higher, potash is 7% more expensive and MAP is now 11% higher.

The only remaining fertilizer still lower in prices compared to a year prior is 10-34-0. Starter fertilizer is 6% lower looking back a 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.

DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):

Jan 2-6 2017431442322339
Jan 30-Feb 3 2017430448329353
Feb 27-Mar 03 2017436458335361
Mar 27-31 2017438465338356
Apr 24-28 2017437466338352
May 22-26 2017436471340343
Jun 19-23 2017436470340333
Jul 17-21 2017435464339309
Aug 14-18 2017434460338305
Sep 11-15 2017431456336310
Oct 9-13 2017432453347325
Nov 6-10 2017434459341338
Dec 4-8 2017438471343344
Jan 1-5 2018452490345350
Date Range10-34-0ANHYDUAN28UAN32
Jan 2-6 2017436465218255
Jan 30-Feb 3 2017439482236270
Feb 27-Mar 03 2017440502246279
Mar 27-31 2017441508248279
Apr 24-28 2017437509247280
May 22-26 2017436503249280
Jun 19-23 2017435497243273
Jul 17-21 2017425425229265
Aug 14-18 2017419419216251
Sep 11-15 2017416412210248
Oct 9-13 2017413397206253
Nov 6-10 2017403409216272
Dec 4-8 2017404424215251
Jan 1-5 2018409474219256

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN


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