UAN, Urea Retail Prices Still Running Spring Sprint


by Russ Quinn, DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) — Prices for urea and UAN solutions continue to rise, as they have for several weeks in a row, according to retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the first week of May 2012.

Prices for five of the eight major fertilizers gained compared to a month earlier. Urea led the way higher once again. The nitrogen fertilizer was 10{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0} higher compared to the first week of April and was up an average of $200 per ton since January. It had an average price of $753/ton last week.

Also considerably higher once again were the UAN solutions. UAN28 was 7{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0} more expensive and UAN32 was 6{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0} higher compared to a month ago. UAN28 had an average price of $425/ton while UAN32 was at $482/ton.

In addition, DAP and potash appreciated as well. These two fertilizers were up just slightly with DAP having an average price of $638/ton while potash was at $665/ton.

The remaining three fertilizers were lower compared to a month ago but really not by any significance. MAP had an average price of $692/ton, 10-34-0 was at $784/ton and anhydrous was at $758/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.82/lb.N, anhydrous $0.46/lb.N, UAN28 $0.76/lb.N and UAN32 $0.75/lb.N.

Fertilizer retailers continue to report that urea’s skyrocketing prices should taper off as the season progresses. Bennie Roths with the Two Rivers Co-op located in Arkansas City, Kan., agrees, but hasn’t seen that price drop yet.

Three weeks ago one of his fertilizer suppliers said that urea barges were running at $700/ton at the time but would drop down to about $400/ton in June, “so I guess we will just have to see,” Roths told DTN.

Roths said with the winter wheat running about two to three weeks early this year and moisture available after a severe drought last year, many farmers in his southern Kansas location will double crop either soybeans or milo after the wheat is harvested. If the region’s farmers chose to plant milo, they will have to fertilizer the crop.

Normally the nitrogen source for a second crop of milo would be either urea or UAN solutions, he said. This year, most farmers will select UAN solutions because of urea’s high prices.

“I don’t know if more farmers double cropping milo and using UAN will affect the UAN price,” he said. “Normally I wouldn’t think so, but I suppose it depends on how many acres are double cropped and how many acres have milo as the second crop.”

Four of the eight major fertilizers are still showing double-digit increases in price compared to one year earlier. Leading the way higher is urea. The nitrogen fertilizer is 55{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0} higher compared to last year while UAN32 has jumped 14{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0}, UAN28 is 13{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0} more expensive and potash is 10{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0} higher compared to the first week of May 2011.

Two fertilizers have seen just slight price increases compared to a year earlier. 10-34-0 is now 2{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0} higher in prices while anhydrous is now 1{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0} more expensive compared to last year.

The two remaining fertilizers, DAP and MAP, are now actually lower compared to one year ago. DAP is now 6{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0} lower while MAP has now decreased 2{fd15d42d1b024b97d6d50958be27cc8145b6addb99e015780abccf2984117bb0} in price.

DTN collects roughly 1,300 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


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