DTN Fertilizer Trends: Nitrogen Continues to Lead Prices Higher

    Liquid fertilizer containers. Photo: ©Debra L Ferguson

    Average retail prices for most fertilizers continued to rise at a good clip the first partial week of December 2021, according to sellers surveyed by DTN. Once again, the nitrogen fertilizers maintained their spot as the clear leaders.

    Five of the eight major fertilizers recorded a sizable move higher compared to last month. DTN designates a substantial move as anything 5% or more.

    Leading the way higher, as it has for several weeks now, was anhydrous, which was up 18% from a month prior. The nitrogen fertilizer’s average price was at $1,313 per ton, which continues to be all-time high in the DTN data set.

    UAN32 was 9% more expensive compared to last month with the average price at $661/ton, this is also an all-time high. Both UAN28 and urea were 6% higher looking back a month, with UAN28 having an average price of $575/ton and urea at $873/ton, both all-time highs.

    10-34-0 was 8% more expensive than it was a month ago. The starter fertilizer had an average price of $756/ton.

    Three fertilizers had just slight price increases compared to the prior month. DAP had an average price of $836/ton, MAP $918/ton and potash $777/ton.

    On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.95/lb.N, anhydrous $0.80/lb.N, UAN28 $1.03/lb.N and UAN32 $1.03/lb.N.

    Dow Jones reported last week that extremely high fertilizer prices will likely limit farmers’ profitability in the 2022 growing season.

    CoBank said while high fertilizer prices will eventually correct themselves, CoBank’s analysis suggests that high fertilizer costs will persist into the spring 2022 planting season at a minimum.

    “We base this conclusion in part on a recent farmer survey and university study, both of which place the odds of high prices persisting at 70% or above,” CoBank said.

    Farmers could also face other challenges in the next growing season. More drought issues could be seen, or severe storm systems could push across the U.S. and elsewhere, according to CoBank.

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    Retail fertilizer prices compared to a year ago show all fertilizers have increased significantly, with several fertilizers having well over 100% price increases.

    10-34-0 is now 65% more expensive, DAP is 84% higher, MAP is also 84% more expensive, potash is 129% higher, urea is 143% more expensive, UAN32 is 166% higher, UAN28 177% is more expensive and anhydrous is 208% 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.

    University of Missouri Extension offered tips to corn producers to improve their fertilizer efficiency with high phosphorus and potash prices. You can read it here.

    DRY
    Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
    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
    Nov 29-Dec 3 2021 836 918 777 873
    LIQUID
    Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
    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
    Nov 29-Dec 3 2021 756 1313 575 661

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

    Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN

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