Retail Fertilizer Prices Continue to Rise


OMAHA (DTN) — Retail fertilizer prices continued to rise the fourth week of February 2014, according to retailers tracked by DTN. For the second straight week, all eight of the major fertilizers edged higher compared to a month earlier.


Leading the increases once again are urea as well as DAP. Both urea and DAP were 5{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} higher compared to a month previous. Urea has an average price of $522 per ton and DAP $541 per ton.


The remaining six fertilizers all had minor price moves higher. MAP had an average price of $561/ton, potash $472/ton, 10-34-0 $509/ton, anhydrous $621/ton, UAN28 $341/ton and UAN32 $387/ton.



On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.57/lb.N, anhydrous $0.38/lb.N, UAN28 $0.61/lb.N and UAN32 $0.60/lb.N.


While 2014 retail fertilizer prices are on the move, they remain on the low side compared to recent history. In a blog entry on the University of Illinois' farmdoc daily website titled “Controlling Costs with Lower Crop Revenues: Fertilizer Costs,” economist Gary Schnitkey wrote that the size of the year-over-year decline in fertilizer prices since 2013 is historic and fairly rare.


USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) in Illinois reported retail fertilizer prices in 2014 are below 2013 levels by approximately 27{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} for anhydrous ammonia, 19{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} for DAP and 21{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} for potash.


“Since 1975, anhydrous ammonia prices decreased more in only three years: -33{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} in 1976, -38{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} in 2002 and -34{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} in 2010,” Schnitkey wrote. “Since 1975, a larger decrease for potash price only occurred in one year: -23{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} in 2010.”


He projected Illinois fertilizer costs in 2014 for corn at around $140 per acre, down some $60 per acre from 2012 levels. Fertilizer costs for soybeans in 2014 would be at $50 per acre, down from $68 per acre in 2012.


Schnitkey also wrote farmers need to examine fertilizer application rates with price changes occurring between commodity and fertilizer prices.


“Lower commodity prices require more of a yield response to justify the application,” he wrote. “Take, for example, a fertilizer application that has a cost of $20 per acre. At $6.50-per-bushel corn price, three bushels of additional yield are needed to justify the application expense. A five-bushel response is needed at a $4-per-bushel corn price.”


Schnitkey's article can found at….


Urea has been moving higher in recent months, but seven of the eight major fertilizers are now double digits lower in price compared to February 2013, according to DTN's weekly retailer survey.


Urea is now down 9{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30}, UAN32 is 12{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} less expensive and both DAP and UAN28 are 12{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} lower. MAP is 16{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} less expensive while 10-34-0 is down 17{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30}. Potash is 20{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} less expensive while anhydrous is 28{75f28365482020b1dc6796c337e8ca3e58b9dd590dc88a265b514ff5f3f56c30} lower than a year earlier.


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.

by Russ Quinn, DTN Staff Reporter




© Copyright 2014 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.

Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x