DTN Fertilizer Trends: 4 New Price Records Set

    Fall fertilizer application. Photo: University of Minnesota

    The average retail price of anhydrous set a record this week at $1,113/ton after increasing 38% from last month. The seven other major fertilizers tracked by DTN for the first week of November saw increases ranging from 9% to 36% as supply disruptions push prices to new highs. DTN considers a monthly price change of 5% or more to be significant.

    DTN began collecting fertilizer price bids in 2008 as expanding corn acreage pushed up demand for fertilizer, taking prices with it. DTN reported anhydrous’ highest price during the first week of November that year, at $1,043/ton. And while the nitrogen fertilizer is the most expensive of the eight DTN monitors today, it wasn’t back then. That honor went to 10-34-0, which cost $1,250/ton. MAP was close behind at $1,079/ton.

    This year, high prices are more related to supply chain issues and worries about shortages than increased demand. The entire fertilizer complex is seeing higher prices, but the largest movers this month are nitrogen products.

    The average price of UAN28 is 36% higher than last month at $545/ton. UAN32 is 32% more expensive at $604/ton, while urea is up 26% at $820/ton. All are new records for DTN’s database.

    Potash and DAP prices are 11% higher than last month, at $750/ton and $814/ton, respectively. MAP costs an average of $900/ton, up 9%.

    Unlike 2008, 10-34-0 is the laggard. While it’s up 10% from last month at $702/ton, it’s only 54% higher on the year, far less than the price gains seen in other fertilizers. Anhydrous is now 163% more expensive than in the first week of November 2021. UAN28 is 162% higher. UAN32 costs 144% more. Urea, 129%. Farmers are paying 127% more for potash, 88% more for MAP and 82% more for DAP.

    On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.89/lb.N, anhydrous $0.68/lb.N, UAN28 $0.97/lb.N and UAN32 $0.94/lb.N.

    Agricultural economists at the University of Illinois recently updated crop budgets to reflect higher fertilizer prices as well as the changing price of corn and soybeans. They anticipate per-acre fertilizer costs will be about $100/acre higher for corn and $50/acre higher for soybeans than last year.

    Their estimates use fertilizer prices from the Illinois Production Cost Report from USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. That report puts anhydrous at $1,035/ton, DAP at $814/ton and potash at $776/ton.

    However, if corn and soybean prices stay near fall delivery bids — $5 per bushel for corn and $12 per bushel for soybeans — the budgets show that corn is likely to remain the more profitable crop. “Even though fertilizer prices are very high, current budgets suggest that corn will be more profitable than soybeans across Illinois. Changes in corn, soybean and fertilizer prices could change that situation before spring planting,” the economists wrote.

    “Moreover, each farm should prepare its own budget, as much will depend on an individual farm’s cost, timing of fertilizer purchase and the form of nitrogen. Still, budgets suggest large swings in acres are not likely at current price levels.”

    You can see the detailed crop budgets here.

    DTN gathers fertilizer price bids from around 300 retailers 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. Last week, this column highlighted UAN32’s break to new price highs, which it broke again this week.

    You can read more on that here.

    DRY
    Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
    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
    Apr 19-23 2021 627 703 432 510
    May 17-21 2021 642 708 440 521
    Jun 14-18 2021 661 719 454 531
    Jul 12-16 2021 693 730 501 550
    Aug 9-13 2021 695 755 563 555
    Sep 6-10 2021 699 757 575 558
    Oct 4-8 2021 736 829 675 653
    Nov 1-5 2021 814 900 750 820
    LIQUID
    Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
    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
    Apr 19-23 2021 612 707 348 391
    May 17-21 2021 620 716 361 407
    Jun 14-18 2021 621 719 365 414
    Jul 12-16 2021 624 725 368 418
    Aug 9-13 2021 630 740 366 418
    Sep 6-10 2021 631 750 371 422
    Oct 4-8 2021 639 803 400 456
    Nov 1-5 2021 702 1113 545 604

    Katie Dehlinger can be reached at katie.dehlinger@dtn.com

    Follow her on Twitter at @KatieD_DTN

    The Latest


    Send press releases to Ernst@Agfax.com.

    View All Events


    Send press releases to Ernst@Agfax.com.

    View All Events