Fertilizer Prices Continue to Hold Steady


by Russ Quinn, DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN appear to be moving into a calm period during the third week of January. For the first time since the second week of December 2011, no major fertilizer experienced a significant price reduction.

In month-to-month comparisons, average prices of seven of the eight major fertilizers were lower compared with the third week of December, but drops were slight. DAP had an average price of $667 per ton, MAP $717/ton, urea $555/ton, 10-34-0 $825/ton, anhydrous $796/ton, UAN28 $388/ton and UAN32 $439/ton.

At $661/ton, potash was slightly higher compared with the previous month.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was $0.60 per pound of nitrogen, anhydrous $0.49/lb.N, UAN28 $0.69/lb.N and UAN32 $0.69/lb.N.

Stable retail fertilizer prices could be a feature of the market for the foreseeable future. Rob Fritz, an agronomist with Baltic, S.D.-based Hefty Seed Company, which also sells fertilizer, ag chemicals and machinery in the Western Corn Belt, had expected fertilizer prices would stay strong through planting. After the recent commodity price drops following USDA’s January crop reports, Fritz is now not so sure.

“There are a number of factors, ranging from the competition for acres this spring to the dollar versus foreign currencies, at play,” Fritz told DTN. “I don’t want to sound negative but if grains don’t climb much, which I don’t think is going to happen now, then fertilizer prices are not going to move much either.”

Supply of most fertilizer types this spring should not be an issue. The exception, 10-34-0 starter fertilizer, continues to be a bit short as spring planting approaches, he said.

The issue is availability of so-called green acid, used in converting raw phosphate to fertilizers. “From the suppliers I talk to, increased demand for green acid in other industries combined with decreasing production of the acid seem to be the reasons for us being short with starter fertilizer in recent years,” Fritz said.


Five of the eight major fertilizers are continuing to show double-digit increases in price compared with one year earlier. Leading the way higher is 10-34-0. The starter fertilizer skyrocketed in price last year. Despite a drop in recent months, prices remain 28{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} higher compared with the third week of January 2011.

Potash has jumped 16{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f}, urea has increased 14{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} and both UAN28 and UAN32 are now 11{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} more expensive than a year ago.

Two fertilizers have seen just slight price increases compared with a year earlier. Anhydrous has now climbed 8{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} and MAP has increased 3{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} compared with last year.

DAP is actually 1{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} lower than a year ago.

DTN Pro Grains subscribers can find current retail fertilizer price in the new DTN Fertilizer Index on the Fertilizer page under Farm Business.

DTN collects roughly 1,200 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retailer locations weekly. Not all fertilizer prices change each week. Prices are subject to change at any time.

© Copyright 2012 DTN/The Progressive Farmer, A Telvent Brand. All rights reserved.

Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp


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