DTN Fertilizer Trends: Potash Continues to Lead Prices Higher

    Fertilizer application in corn. Photo Ricardo Costa, Michigan State University

    Average retail fertilizer prices continued to be mostly higher the first week of August 2021, led by potash, according to sellers surveyed by DTN.

    Six of the eight major fertilizers were higher compared to last month, with only potash up a significant amount, which DTN designates at 5% or more. Potash was up 13% compared to the prior month, and now has an average price of $557 per ton.

    MAP prices increased 4% to $755/ton.

    The remaining four fertilizers were just slightly higher. DAP had an average price of $695/ton, urea $556/ton, 10-34-0 $631/ton and anhydrous $738/ton.

    Two fertilizers, UAN28 and UAN32, were slightly lower in price looking back a month. UAN28 had an average price of $367/ton and UAN32 $418/ton.

    On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.60/lb.N, anhydrous $0.45/lb.N, UAN28 $0.65/lb.N and UAN32 $0.65/lb.N.

    The retail fertilizer market and its iffy supply channel is making fertilizer retailers nervous as fall rapidly approaches. Bob Spratt, manager of LeRoy Fertilizer Services located in LeRoy, Illinois, told DTN a storm could be brewing with a possible limited supply of crop nutrients.

    “I have not seen a fertilizer market like this ever — even in the 2008 market,” Spratt told DTN. “We are going to face supply issues like never before, I feel.”

    The supply issues aren’t related to COVID-19 (although the worldwide pandemic probably hasn’t helped any) but they are related to other issues. These include the draining of the fertilizer supply chain in 2020, the chemical plant shutdowns from the freeze in Texas last February and the lack of available fertilizer imports, he said.

    Spratt said there just is no advantage to importing fertilizer into the U.S. right now.

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    “The question is: Will we be able to get fertilizer when we need it?” he said. “It’s crazy.”

    Retail fertilizer prices compared to a year ago show all fertilizers have increased significantly.

    10-34-0 is now 36% more expensive, potash is 56% higher, urea is 57% more expensive, UAN32 is 60% higher, anhydrous is 62% more expensive, UAN28 65% higher, DAP is 67% more expensive and MAP is 76% higher compared to last year.

    DTN surveys more than 300 retailers, gathering roughly 1,700 fertilizer price bids, to compile the DTN Fertilizer Index each week. In addition to national averages, MyDTN subscribers can access the full DTN Fertilizer Index, which includes state averages, here.

    In last week’s column, DTN Farm Business Editor Katie Dehlinger explained Mosaic Company’s outlook for the potash market. Read it here.

    DRY
    Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
    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
    Jun 7-11 2021 656 717 450 527
    Jul 5-9 2021 690 729 491 549
    Aug 2-6 2021 695 755 557 556
    LIQUID
    Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
    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
    Jun 7-11 2021 620 718 363 414
    Jul 5-9 2021 624 732 371 421
    Aug 2-6 2021 631 738 367 418

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

    Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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