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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 10:25AM CDT

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- As has been the trend in recent weeks, retail fertilizer prices continued to decline the third week of September 2016, according to retailers tracked by DTN. All eight of the major fertilizers are lower compared to last month.

Leading the way lower again this week is 10-34-0. The starter fertilizer is 6% lower compared to a month earlier and averaged $470 per ton.

The remaining fertilizers were all lower compared to a month ago, but the move was slight. UAN28 averaged $225/ton, UAN32 averaged $271/ton, DAP averaged $443/ton, MAP $453/ton, potash $319/ton, urea $323/ton and anhydrous $494/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.35/lb.N, anhydrous $0.30/lb.N, UAN28 $0.40/lb.N and UAN32 $0.42/lb.N.

Lower fertilizer prices have been the main contributor to farm budget savings in the past year, farm economists note. Some nutrients have actually retreated to levels not seen since DTN began accumulating retail prices in November 2008.

Right now, two fertilizers remain at their lowest level in the last eight years. One might be fairly easy to guess if you have paid attention to fertilizer trends at all. That would be potash. The $319-per-ton average price is DTN's all-time low price. The potash chart is interesting to examine as it has been on a decline since May 2012.

You might think this adjustment in potash prices was because of the break-up of the so called "potash cartel," but that didn't happen until August 2013. Prices were already on the decline, and the demise of the cartel has only pushed potash prices lower over the last three years.

The other fertilizer at an all-time low price right now is urea. The current average price of urea is $323/ton. The previous low was $367/ton in the third week of July 2010.

While no other fertilizers hover at all-time lows currently, some are fairly close. If prices continue to fall, we could see lows in the coming weeks or months.

UAN28 is $26/ton away from a low with the average price now at $225/ton and the low at $199/ton established the third week of August 2009. UAN32 is also fairly close at $28/ton away from a low with an average price of $271/ton and a historical low of $243/ton seen the second week of December 2009.

The remaining four fertilizers' prices would really have to drop to see historic low retail prices.

MAP's average price is at $453/ton and the low is $386/ton in first week of November 2009, so prices would have to drop $67/ton to equal the low in MAP. DAP's average price now is $443/ton and the low is $362/ton seen the second week of November 2009, so that would be a difference of $81/ton. And 10-34-0 has an average price of $470/ton now and its low was $381/ton in the fourth week of December 2009, so the difference here is $89/ton.

All retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier.

10-34-0 is now down 20% while DAP, MAP and UAN32 are all 21% lower. Both anhydrous and UAN28 are now 24% lower, urea is down 25% and potash is 30% lower compared to a year prior.

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
Sept 21-25 2015 562 575 454 428
Oct 19-23 2015 547 562 435 413
Nov 16-20 2015 545 559 424 403
Dec 14-18 2015 532 544 410 392
Jan 11-15 2016 495 521 391 381
Feb 8-12 2016 479 499 378 369
Mar 7-11 2016 477 494 372 378
Apr 4-8 2016 480 504 369 387
May 2-6 2016 475 502 366 385
May 30-June 3 2016 473 499 363 375
June 27-July 1 2016 468 495 358 365
July 25-29 2016 459 492 356 356
Aug 22-26 2016 451 468 330 330
Sept 19-23 2016 443 453 319 323
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Sept 21-25 2015 589 646 297 343
Oct 19-23 2015 582 637 291 334
Nov 16-20 2015 579 629 287 332
Dec 14-18 2015 571 612 279 331
Jan 11-15 2016 572 581 272 319
Feb 8-12 2016 569 551 261 303
Mar 7-11 2016 562 541 262 312
Apr 4-8 2016 561 586 272 315
May 2-6 2016 560 589 274 321
May 30-June 3 2016 559 579 268 313
June 27-July 1 2016 554 566 266 304
July 25-29 2016 543 545 257 304
Aug 22-26 2016 502 515 234 280
Sept 19-23 2016 470 494 225 271

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(MZT/AG)


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