Fertilizer prices continue to move higher, with nitrogen fertilizers once again leading the way, according to retailers tracked by DTN for the last week of December 2018.
For the third week in a row, three fertilizers’ prices are significantly higher. Overall, seven of the eight fertilizers tracked by DTN saw price increases from last month.
Anhydrous prices are 9% higher compared to last month with an average price of $568/ton. That’s an increase of $49/ton.
UAN28 prices are up 8%, an increase of $20/ton. The nitrogen fertilizer has an average price of $266/ton.
UAN32 is $16/ton more expensive than last month, a 6% increase, with an average price of $303/ton.
Four other fertilizers’ prices were slightly higher. DAP had an average price of $507/ton, up $6/ton; MAP $533/ton, up $3/ton; potash $379/ton, up $10/ton; and 10-34-0 $457/ton, up fractionally from last month.
One fertilizer was slightly lower in price compared to last month. Urea’s average price dropped $2/ton to $407/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.35/lb.N, UAN28 $0.47/lb.N and UAN32 $0.47/lb.N.
Higher fertilizer prices have made for a less-than-positive end to the year for farmers in the market for nutrients. It’s even affected some farmers who tried to avoid higher fertilizer prices by locking in prices months ago.
Quentin Bowen, a corn and soybean farmer from Humboldt, Nebraska, told DTN he booked about two thirds of his anhydrous needs last August for fall application. Harvest dragged on until Christmas in southeastern Nebraska and very little anhydrous was applied this fall.
He said the contract included a clause that gave his retailer the choice of whether to honor the contracts into the spring. The company could add a monthly storage charge for product that wasn’t applied in the fall or it could choose to cancel the contact completely.
Bowen said he and other growers were told the second week of December that the anhydrous contact was being cancelled.
“We could get our money refunded or have it applied to a new contract for significantly fewer tons,” Bowen said. “It increased our nitrogen cost per acre by a minimum of $16 an acre.”
Urea prices are also higher in his area, even though soybean prices show little room to make a profit.
Bowen said it will be a busy spring in southeast Nebraska, as it will be in many places around the Corn Belt, since very little fieldwork of any kind got done last fall. In his area, no fall spraying, dirt work or ditch fixing was done at all, he said.
All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year. MAP is 9% more expensive, potash is 10% higher, 10-34-0 is 12% more expensive, DAP is 13% higher, urea is 17% more expensive, UAN32 is 20% higher, anhydrous is 21% more expensive and UAN28 is now 23% higher compared to last year.
DTN collects roughly 1,700 retail fertilizer bids from 310 retail 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.
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