DTN Fertilizer Trends: Prices Continue March Higher

Early season fertilizer application: Photo: University of Minnesota

Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN continue their march upward, as seven of eight major fertilizers showed month-over-month increases based on a survey of sellers in the second week of May.

For the second straight week prices for UAN28 and UAN32 were significantly higher than the previous month. DTN designates significantly higher as 5% or higher.

UAN32 jumped to $406 per ton and UAN28 came in at $361. Anhydrous saw a 2% increase to $713/ton as did 10-34-0 at $620/ton. Prices for DAP, potash and urea were all up by 1% from the previous month.

The price of DAP increased to $631/ton, potash at $437 and urea at $515/ton. The price for MAP remained steady at $702/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.56/pound, anhydrous $0.44/pound, UAN28 $0.64/pound and UAN32 $0.63/pound.

The general rise in fertilizer prices has been quite dramatic in the past year. According to DTN’s database, prices for MAP, DAP and UAN28 are higher by 62%, 53% and 53%, respectively, compared to one year ago.

Anhydrous and UAN32 prices each are 45% higher than one year ago, while urea is 33% higher, 10-34-0, 32% higher and potash at 18% higher.

According to an April 20, 2021, analysis of fertilizer prices by farmdoc at the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign, the spike in fertilizer prices has corresponded to increases in both corn and soybean prices.

Those higher fertilizer costs, farmdoc said, will take some of the wind out of the sails of expected profits from higher corn and soybean prices. See here.

“Increased fertilizer costs will offset some of the additional profitability that may result from corn and soybean production if higher prices persist into the fall of this year and winter of next year,” farmdoc said.

“Input prices have a history of increasing with corn prices. As a result, the current price increases are not unexpected. Given historical relationships, one would not expect nitrogen and other fertilizer prices to decline until corn and soybeans prices decline, likely in a lagged relationship.”

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Farmdoc said farmers who purchased and applied “most of their fertilizers in fall 2020 will likely have lower costs than those applying and purchasing most of their inputs in spring 2021.

“For example, many farmers apply phosphate and potash fertilizers in the fall. Those farmers will have lower costs than those farmers who purchase and apply those fertilizers in the spring for the 2021 crop. Some farmers apply all or a majority of their nitrogen fertilizer in the late fall. Fall-applied fertilizer likely will have lower costs than nitrogen applied in the spring and summer for the 2021 crop.”

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
May 11-15 2020 413 433 370 388
Jun 8-12 2020 406 430 363 367
Jul 6-10 2020 405 427 360 360
Aug 3-7 2020 416 430 357 354
Aug 31-Sep 4 2020 431 442 348 361
Sep 28-Oct 2 2020 439 459 338 362
Oct 26-30 2020 448 477 332 358
Nov 23-27 2020 456 495 337 359
Dec 21-25 2020 474 535 365 363
Jan 18-22 2021 493 563 379 387
Feb 15-19 2021 600 648 404 457
Mar 15-19 2021 616 693 424 496
Apr 12-16 2021 624 702 432 509
May 10-14 2021 631 702 437 515
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
May 11-15 2020 468 492 237 280
Jun 8-12 2020 468 472 235 276
Jul 6-10 2020 467 461 233 272
Aug 3-7 2020 465 455 222 262
Aug 31-Sep 4 2020 459 436 216 254
Sep 28-Oct 2 2020 457 424 212 250
Oct 26-30 2020 456 423 209 249
Nov 23-27 2020 457 424 210 249
Dec 21-25 2020 463 461 210 250
Jan 18-22 2021 481 482 215 251
Feb 15-19 2021 522 530 245 288
Mar 15-19 2021 596 671 331 373
Apr 12-16 2021 609 700 345 387
May 10-14 2021 620 713 361 406

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN

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