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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):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Jan 2-6 2017 431 442 322 339
Jan 30-Feb 3 2017 430 448 329 353
Feb 27-Mar 03 2017 436 458 335 361
Mar 27-31 2017 438 465 338 356
Apr 24-28 2017 437 466 338 352
May 22-26 2017 436 471 340 343
Jun 19-23 2017 436 470 340 333
Jul 17-21 2017 435 464 339 309
Aug 14-18 2017 434 460 338 305
Sep 11-15 2017 431 456 336 310
Oct 9-13 2017 432 453 347 325
Nov 6-10 2017 434 459 341 338
Dec 4-8 2017 438 471 343 344
Jan 1-5 2018 452 490 345 350
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Jan 2-6 2017 436 465 218 255
Jan 30-Feb 3 2017 439 482 236 270
Feb 27-Mar 03 2017 440 502 246 279
Mar 27-31 2017 441 508 248 279
Apr 24-28 2017 437 509 247 280
May 22-26 2017 436 503 249 280
Jun 19-23 2017 435 497 243 273
Jul 17-21 2017 425 425 229 265
Aug 14-18 2017 419 419 216 251
Sep 11-15 2017 416 412 210 248
Oct 9-13 2017 413 397 206 253
Nov 6-10 2017 403 409 216 272
Dec 4-8 2017 404 424 215 251
Jan 1-5 2018 409 474 219 256

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

Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

(AG/BAS)

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