DTN Fertilizer Trends: Historically Low Prices – Will You Save Now or Later?

Anydrous Fertilizer tank with grain bins in the background. ©Debra L Ferguson

Average retail fertilizer prices continued to be mixed the second week of September 2020, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. Just like last week, five of the eight major fertilizers were lower, while the remaining three nutrients were higher.

Also like last week, no fertilizer was up or down a significant amount, which DTN designates as 5% or more.

The five fertilizers that were slightly lower were potash with an average price of $345 per ton, down $8 from last month; 10-34-0 $459/ton, down $6; anhydrous $434/ton, down $13; UAN28 $216/ton, down $5; and UAN32 $253/ton, down $6.

The three fertilizers that were higher include DAP with an average price of $434/ton, up $8; MAP $445/ton, up $10; and urea $360/ton, up $5.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.26/lb.N, UAN28 $0.39/lb.N and UAN32 $0.39/lb.N.

Over the last several weeks, we have taken a closer look at the thought process farmers go through when they are considering pre-purchasing their fertilizer needs.

Some want to take advantage of historically lower retail prices, or maybe they want to know some of their input costs ahead of time. Others feel like they can save money in the long run by waiting to pay for their fertilizer as they use it.

And some will do a bit of both.

Robert McCain, a farmer from Kokomo, Indiana, said he normally doesn’t lock any fertilizer in for the fall application season. He does, however, usually start pricing some of his fertilizer needs in February for spring application. McCain tries to set a price in the late-winter/early spring time period on for his nitrogen, phosphorus and potash needs.

“I want to keep my options open,” McCain told DTN. “This is the way I’ve always done it and doesn’t mean I’m right.”

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Retail fertilizer prices continue to be considerably lower in price from a year ago. Anhydrous is 16% lower, UAN28 is 15% less expensive, UAN32 is 13% lower, urea is 12% less expensive, DAP is 11% lower, potash is down 10%, MAP is 8% less expensive and 10-34-0 is 3% lower from last year at this time.

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.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Sep 9-13 2019 486 482 385 407
Oct 7-11, 2019 472 473 383 403
Nov 4-8 2019 462 471 384 396
Dec 2-6 2019 445 463 379 381
Dec 30-Jan 3 2020 438 446 376 363
Jan 27-31 2020 414 435 373 359
Feb 24-28 2020 409 434 371 366
Mar 23-27 2020 409 434 370 382
Apr 20-24 2020 410 433 370 385
May 18-22 2020 409 434 367 387
Jun 15-19 2020 405 429 363 360
Jul 13-17 2020 406 428 361 359
Aug 10-14 2020 426 434 353 355
Sep 7-Sep 11, 2020 434 445 345 360
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Sep 9-13 2019 471 516 253 289
Oct 7-11, 2019 470 509 253 289
Nov 4-8 2019 473 499 249 289
Dec 2-6 2019 470 490 242 276
Dec 30-Jan 3 2020 470 487 238 273
Jan 27-31 2020 467 488 237 275
Feb 24-28 2020 466 490 235 277
Mar 23-27 2020 466 491 235 278
Apr 20-24 2020 468 492 236 279
May 18-22 2020 469 490 237 280
Jun 15-19 2020 468 464 233 273
Jul 13-17 2020 468 460 225 263
Aug 10-14 2020 465 447 221 259
Sep 7-Sep 11, 2020 459 434 216 253

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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