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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
By Russ Quinn
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 10:55AM CDT

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continue to hold fairly steady the fourth week of September 2014, according to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN. That pattern has been consistent in recent weeks.

All but one of the major fertilizers averaged lower prices compared to last month, but these moves to the low side remained minor. DAP averaged $579/ton, MAP $600/ton, urea $510/ton, 10-34-0 $555/ton, anhydrous $694/ton, UAN28 $329/ton and UAN32 $377/ton.

One fertilizer, potash, was nearly unchanged from a month earlier. Potash averaged $476/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.55/lb.N, anhydrous $0.42/lb.N, UAN28 $0.59/lb.N and UAN32 $0.59/lb.N.

The DTN Fertilizer Index is comprised of retail fertilizer prices gathered weekly across the country. The index is divided into two parts, a national index on the eight major fertilizers and state averages calculated for 12 Corn Belt states.

Looking at the state averages, the first thing that sticks out is the range of anhydrous prices. The highest state average belongs to Wisconsin at $794/ton while the lowest average price is Kansas at $663/ton. The range from high to low is $131 per ton.

This is the widest range of prices of any retail fertilizer. The only other fertilizer with a triple-digit range from high to low was DAP. The phosphorus fertilizer had a high of $639/ton in Minnesota and low in Illinois of $521/ton, a range of $118 per ton.

All the rest of the major fertilizers' range in average price from high to low was under $100 per ton.

UAN28 had a $361/ton high in Wisconsin and a low of $317/ton in Nebraska for a range of $44/ton. UAN32 had a $397/ton high in Indiana and low of $359/ton just across the border in Illinois. This would be a range of $38 per ton.

The state with the highest average urea price was Indiana at $559/ton while North Dakota had the lowest average urea price at $461, a difference of $98/ton. MAP's highest average price was $616/ton in Nebraska and its lowest price was $573/ton in Indiana, a range of $43/ton.

10-34-0 had Minnesota with $612/ton on the high side and $517/ton on the low side in Iowa. This was a difference of $95/ton.

The fertilizer with the smallest range between the state average high and low was potash, which is not really a surprise given potash's steadiness this year. The state with the highest average potash price was Iowa at $495/ton while Kansas had the low of $459/ton, a difference of just $36/ton.

There were some patterns among the states with high and low average prices for fertilizers.

Wisconsin had the highest average price on anhydrous and UAN28 while fellow northern state Minnesota had the highest average price on DAP and 10-34-0. Surprisingly, North Dakota did not have the highest average price on any of the eight major fertilizers.

Meanwhile, Illinois had the lowest average prices for UAN32 and DAP. Kansas had the lowest average price for anhydrous and potash.

Some states had both the highest and lowest average price of fertilizers, which is interesting. Indiana had the highest average urea price and the lowest average MAP price. Nebraska had the highest average MAP price but the lowest average UAN28 price.

And finally there was one state that had two highest averages and one lowest for the average price of fertilizer. Iowa had the high average for UAN32 and potash but also had the lowest average price for 10-34-0.

One of the eight major fertilizers is now double digits higher in price compared to September of 2013. Urea remains 15% higher compared to a year ago, followed by DAP at 9% higher and both 10-34-0 and anhydrous up 6%. MAP is up 5% while UAN32 is 2% higher and UAN28 is 1% more expensive.

Potash is the nutrient which is still lower compared to prices from a year ago. Potash is 5% less expensive from a year ago.

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. Price data includes national averages as well as key state averages.

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):

Oct 21-25, 2013 524.01 565.63 491.41 441.67
Nov 18-22 2013 515.37 557.97 485.50 438.19
Dec 16-20 2013 497.65 533.70 480.02 447.94
Jan 13-17 2014 493.34 519.89 471.73 465.01
Feb 10-14 2014 527.78 553.92 470.46 508.67
Mar 10-14 2014 558.45 577.13 473.87 533.23
Apr 7-11 2014 584.87 605.54 475.15 548.32
May 5-9 2014 594.55 630.61 479.49 559.25
June 2-6 2014 596.82 631.02 482.42 543.64
June 30-July 4 2014 592.12 623.37 483.44 535.10
July 28-Aug 1 2014 587.31 609.74 475.58 519.21
August 25-29 2014 586.52 607.17 475.65 516.29
Sept 22-26 2014 579.22 599.82 475.64 509.56
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Oct 21-25, 2013 523.89 653.54 323.15 367.11
Nov 18-22 2013 517.32 643.75 320.18 365.16
Dec 16-20 2013 509.31 632.82 317.84 363.29
Jan 13-17 2014 504.00 614.97 320.62 366.78
Feb 10-14 2014 505.05 619.93 338.07 383.38
Mar 10-14 2014 514.72 626.75 345.11 391.51
Apr 7-11 2014 516.49 675.28 351.74 397.89
May 5-9 2014 550.88 698.48 353.18 405.52
June 2-6 2014 561.77 707.91 356.91 404.41
June 30-July 4 2014 564.07 694.07 352.39 401.29
July 28-Aug 1 2014 542.15 670.65 338.26 379.15
August 25-29 2014 555.46 698.82 332.67 377.29
Sept 22-26 2014 554.72 694.20 329.21 377.16

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


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