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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 2:50PM CDT

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- Despite some retailers predicting cheaper fertilizer by the fall application season, it now appears retail prices will not see a significant price decrease, according to DTN's most recent national survey of fertilizer retailers. That should be much to the chagrin of farmers, whose commodities fell considerably during the growing season. Corn growers alone should see their incomes drop 34% this year, USDA noted in an updated outlook report Tuesday.

Six of the eight major fertilizers had lower prices compared to last month but none were down significantly. MAP had an average price of $607 per ton, potash $476/ton, urea $516/ton, 10-34-0 $555/ton, UAN28 $333/ton and UAN32 $377/ton.

The two remaining fertilizers were higher compared to a month earlier, but again neither was up significantly. DAP had an average price of $587/ton and anhydrous was $699/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.56/lb.N, anhydrous $0.43/lb.N, UAN28 $0.59/lb.N and UAN32 $0.59/lb.N.

With the fall fertilizer application season approaching rapidly, retailers are busy preparing for the field work. Mick Pate, location manager for MFA Agri-Services located in Brookfield, Mo., said he is planning for a "normal" fall fertilizer application season.

Pate said he has heard from some of his farmer customers about retail fertilizer prices not falling as much as some expected during this growing season. They are not very happy with the situation, he said. Some folks who normally apply fertilizer in the fall may wait for the spring, but for the most part, he believes a larger percentage of his customers will continue with their established fertilizer programs.

"We might cover a few less acres this fall, but overall I think we will get close to our normal split between the fall and spring," Pate told DTN.

Pate said from his understanding of the situation, there are some supply issues affecting retail prices. He specifically mentioned urea as one product that has been difficult to get recently.

What ultimately might happen in his north-central Missouri location is more acres being shifted to soybean and away from corn, he said. Farmers in the region already plant more soybean acres than corn, and this trend may continue if fertilizer prices do not decline.

"Many of our customers go with a (fertilizer) program of applying fertilizer every other year planting more bean and less corn acres," he said. "They may decide to make an even higher percentage of their acres beans with fertilizer price being where they are at and lower their corn acres."

Just one of the eight major fertilizers is now double digits lower in price compared to August of 2013. Potash is 13% less expensive compared to a year ago.

In contrast, urea is now 6% higher compared to last year while DAP increased 3% and MAP is 1% more expensive. Anhydrous is nearly unchanged from last year and 10-34-0 is now 2% less expensive. Both UAN28 and UAN32 are 4% lower.

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 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 16-20 2013 540.76 579.26 505.67 452.06
Oct 14-18, 2013 524.33 566.31 493.04 441.57
Nov 11-15 2013 515.93 564.43 489.75 441.10
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
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Sept 16-20 2013 532.52 661.79 329.67 372.34
Oct 14-18, 2013 521.65 654.02 323.39 368.93
Nov 11-15 2013 518.83 644.82 320.70 367.75
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

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

(MZT/AG)


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