DTN Fertilizer Trends: Is the Price Climb Slowing?

According to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the fourth week of March 2021, some fertilizer prices are still climbing at pretty good clip, while others have not increased as much as in recent weeks. Like last week, only seven of the eight major fertilizers were up a significant amount, which DTN designates as 5% or more.

Four of the major fertilizers continue to push considerably higher. UAN28 was up a mammoth 34% from last month and had an average price of $335/ton. UAN32 was 27% more expensive compared to the prior month and had an average price of $376/ton.

Anhydrous was up 26% looking back to last month and had an average price of $684/ton. 10-34-0 was 13% higher compared to the prior month and had average price of $599/ton.

The remaining four fertilizers were higher once again, but these fertilizers saw lesser price spikes compared to the previous weeks.

Urea was 8% more expensive looking back to last month and had an average price of $499/ton.

Both MAP and potash were 5% higher than last month. MAP had average price of $696/ton while potash was at $428/ton.

DAP was just up slightly compared back to the prior month. The phosphorus fertilizer had an average price of $616/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.54/lb.N, anhydrous $0.42/lb.N, UAN28 $0.60/lb.N and UAN32 $0.59/lb.N.

DTN recently asked the following poll question, “With some questions about fertilizer supply after a busy fall application season and retail prices climbing much higher during the last several months, what best describes your feeling toward the fertilizer situation currently?” Six different responses were given for the question.

As of Tues. March 30, there were just under 200 responses. “I have locked in prices; I am not concerned” was the most popular selection with 35% of the votes.

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The next popular response was “I have locked in prices; I am somewhat concerned” with 32% of the vote. Next was “I have locked in prices; I am extremely concerned” with 19% of the vote.

The remaining three possible selections trailed the first three responses by quite a large margin.

“I have not locked in prices; I am extremely concerned” earned 6% of the response, while both “I have not locked in prices; I am not concerned” and “I have not locked in prices; I am somewhat concerned” finished tied with just 4% of the vote each.

While this may be a narrow selection of farmers, I think it shows that many farmers locked in their spring fertilizer needs early and avoided the recent price spikes in retail fertilizer prices. “I have locked in prices” were the top three responses.

I also believe it is also somewhat telling the fourth most popular response was “I have not locked in prices; I am extremely concerned.” Some very truthful farmers did not lock in prices, and they will pay considerably more for nutrients this spring.

I appreciate everyone who took the time to answer the poll question on the DTN websites. Look for more fertilizer-related poll questions in the future.

With retail fertilizer prices moving higher over recent months, all fertilizers are now higher in price from a year ago.

Potash is now 16% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 28% higher, urea is 31% more expensive, UAN32 35% higher, anhydrous is 39% more expensive, UAN28 is 43% higher, DAP is 51% more expensive and MAP 60% is higher compared to last 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.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
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
Oct 5-9 2020 441 466 335 361
Nov 2-6 2020 447 479 331 358
Nov 30-Dec 4 2020 455 499 340 359
Dec 28-Jan 1 2021 475 537 366 367
Jan 25-29 2021 500 580 379 405
Feb 22-26 2021 605 661 408 464
Mar 22-26 2021 616 696 428 499
Liquid
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Oct 5-9 2020 457 424 209 250
Nov 2-6 2020 455 423 208 248
Nov 30-Dec 4 2020 459 427 208 249
Dec 28-Jan 1 2021 464 470 209 250
Jan 25-29 2021 489 489 220 258
Feb 22-26 2021 532 544 250 296
Mar 22-26 2021 599 684 335 376

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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