DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
Thursday, October 22, 2020 2:13PM CDT
OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued to be mixed the second week of October 2020, according to retailers surveyed by DTN. For the sixth week in a row, prices for five of the eight major fertilizers were lower, while prices for the remaining three nutrients were higher.
The difference this week was prices for two of the three fertilizers that were higher were up by a significant amount, which DTN designates as 5% or more. MAP was 6% more expensive compared to last month with an average price of $473 per ton, while DAP was up 5% from the prior month with an average price of $455 per ton.
The remaining fertilizer that was higher in price was up just slightly from last month. 10-34-0 had an average price of $457 per ton.
Also different this week was that the price of one fertilizer was down a considerable amount. UAN28 was down 5% from last month with an average price of $209 per ton.
The remaining four fertilizers were slightly lower in price from last month. Potash had an average price of $332/ton, urea $359/ton, anhydrous $424/ton and UAN32 $249/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.39/lb.N, anhydrous $0.26/lb.N, UAN28 $0.37/lb.N and UAN32 $0.39/lb.N.
The past few weeks, DTN has asked the following poll question on our websites: "What best describes your fertilizer purchasing strategy before harvest?" There was a total of 232 responses to the question.
The most popular answer, at 34%, was "I will purchase fertilizer after harvest for next spring." This was followed closely by "I will buy fertilizer as I need it in the fall" with 30%.
Both "I bought fertilizer this summer" and "I will not be buying fertilizer" were the next popular responses, both with 11%. Bringing up the rear were "I will purchase fertilizer before harvest" at 7% and "I bought fertilizer this spring" with 6% of the vote.
Considering some fertilizers have prices that are at or near multiple-year lows, it's not surprising the top two answers involve not purchasing fertilizer until next spring or as it is needed this fall. This answer is fairly logical considering where retail prices are at now.
I was a little surprised there such a large gap between the top two answers and the next answers. However, if you added up "I bought fertilizer this summer" and "I bought fertilizer this spring," it would represent 17% of the total vote, which would be the third-highest response of the poll.
What this poll question response appears to show is most farmers do not plan to preorder their fertilizer needs this fall or maybe even into the spring.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the poll.
Retail fertilizer prices continue to be mostly lower in price from a year ago, but there is one exception. MAP is less than 1% higher compared to last year with its recent higher prices.
DAP is 2% lower, 10-34-0 is 3% less expensive, urea is 11% lower, potash 13% less expensive, UAN32 14% lower and both anhydrous and UAN28 are 17% less expensive from last year at this time.
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.
Retail fertilizer charts dating back to 2010 are available in the DTN fertilizer segment. The charts included cost of N/lb., DAP, MAP, potash, urea, 10-34-0, anhydrous, UAN28 and UAN32.
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter at @RussQuinnDTN
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