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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 12:38PM CST

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

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OMAHA (DTN) -- Fertilizer prices continue to be unmoved, according to fertilizer retailers tracked by DTN for the second week of November. Steady fertilizer prices have been present for several months now.

Half of the eight major fertilizers had slightly lower prices compared to a month earlier while the other half were just up a bit.

DAP, MAP, urea and UAN32 were all just slightly lower in price compared to the previous month. DAP had an average price of $579 per ton, MAP $598/ton, urea $498/ton and UAN32 $368/ton.

Potash, 10-34-0, anhydrous and UAN28 were higher in price compared to a month earlier, but again these moves were fairly minor. Potash had an average price of $480/ton, 10-34-0 $559/ton, anhydrous $720/ton and UAN28 $336/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.54/lb.N, anhydrous $0.44/lb.N, UAN28 $0.60/lb.N and UAN32 $0.58/lb.N.

There's a dilemma facing many farmers who believe fertilizer prices are too high now: Waiting until spring to apply fertilizer could present issues with supply and logistics, both of which could cause prices to climb even higher.

Jeremy Flikkema, a farmer from Lanark, Ill., said many in his home area of northwestern Illinois have elected to apply limited fertilizer in the fall.

"Very little fertilizer has been applied here, only what is needed for variable-rate technology (VRT)," Flikkema told DTN. "I think (fertilizer) prices need to drop to encourage application here; fall anhydrous, yes, but P and K levels are still above optimum."

Despite this, Flikkema doesn't think farmers will delay all fertilizer application to the spring either. Many don't like the compaction issues with applying fertilizer in the spring while others will be concerned about supply issues with logistics, he said.

Flikkema pointed to rail and barge delay issues which could affect nutrient supply as well as price. Last spring, he said, he could not get urea to apply to his fields as the cold, wet spring limited barge traffic on the nation's river system.

Some farmers may be able to get by with less fertilizer application because of what they did in recent years. Darren Niemeyer, a farmer from Bladen, Neb., said he is sticking with his nutrient application plan the upcoming growing season, but because he applied more P and micro-nutrients last year, his fertilizer costs could be lower this upcoming year.

"I applied some fertilizer last year in which I did three years' (worth of fertilizer) built into one year (of application), so some fertilizer costs will be down this upcoming year," Niemeyer told DTN.

Two of the eight major fertilizers are now double digits higher in price compared to November 2014, all while commodity prices are significantly lower than a year ago. Urea is now up 13% compared to a year earlier followed by DAP at 12% more expensive.

In addition, anhydrous is 12% higher, 10-34-0 is up 8% while MAP is 6% more expensive. UAN28 is up 5% and UAN32 is 1% higher compared to last year.

Potash remains the only nutrient which is still lower compared to retail prices from a year ago. Potash is 2% 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 from a month earlier ($ per ton):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Dec 9-13 2013 505.69 546.69 483.20 441.68
Jan 6-10 2014 492.78 513.09 474.08 458.30
Feb 3-7 2014 521.24 550.48 470.01 502.95
Mar 3-7 2014 553.29 569.88 473.86 531.25
Mar 31-Apr 4 2014 578.78 599.25 474.61 546.33
Apr 28-May 2 2014 597.13 624.99 476.43 559.75
May 26-30 2014 595.94 630.78 480.02 551.35
June 23-27 2014 594.83 629.02 483.44 535.42
July 21-25 2014 585.40 617.46 482.98 527.46
Aug 18-22 2014 586.52 607.17 475.65 516.29
Sept 15-19 2014 580.21 598.02 475.17 509.45
Oct 13-17 2014 582.58 599.11 477.15 508.02
Nov 10-14 2014 578.75 598.00 479.76 497.78
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Dec 9-13 2013 514.50 634.59 318.17 360.82
Jan 6-10 2014 504.68 619.42 318.90 364.24
Feb 3-7 2014 498.31 617.23 334.24 381.71
Mar 3-7 2014 510.67 622.25 343.38 388.53
Mar 31-Apr 4 2014 514.88 659.53 351.01 395.53
Apr 28-May 2 2014 535.72 695.14 355.65 403.11
May 26-30 2014 558.90 702.05 355.65 406.38
June 23-27 2014 562.15 700.44 354.58 402.79
July 21-25 2014 561.56 683.14 345.14 393.96
Aug 18-22 2014 555.46 698.82 332.67 377.29
Sept 15-19 2014 554.26 692.97 328.86 376.49
Oct 13-17 2014 556.89 695.59 326.27 372.26
Nov 10-14 2014 559.20 720.13 336.11 368.24

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

(MZT/AG)


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