Nitrogen fertilizers continue to lead retail prices higher the third week of December 2018, with anhydrous and UAN prices significantly higher than last month, according to prices tracked by DTN.
It’s the second week of sharp price jumps. Six of the eight major fertilizers are higher with three fertilizers having substantially higher prices. DTN considers a price jump of more than 5% to be significant.
Anhydrous prices are 9% higher compared to last month with an average price of $565. That’s a $45-per-ton increase in the past month.
UAN28 prices are 8% higher than the prior month. The nitrogen fertilizer has an average price of $265/ton, up $19/ton. UAN32 is 6% more expensive from last month and is up $17/ton with an average price of $304/ton.
Three other fertilizers’ prices were slightly higher. DAP had an average price of $508/ton, up $7/ton; MAP was $532/ton, up $2/ton; and potash prices averaged $377/ton, $9/ton higher.
The average urea price was fractionally lower than last month at $407/ton, while starter fertilizer, 10-34-0, was unchanged at $457/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.44/lb.N, anhydrous $0.34/lb.N, UAN28 $0.47/lb.N and UAN32 $0.48/lb.N.
Noticeably higher nitrogen prices have surprised some, said Bob Spratt, manager for LeRoy Fertilizer Services located in LeRoy, Illinois. But he said the increase is due to supply reductions worldwide.
“The interesting part is the pricing didn’t ‘reset’ like it historically has after spring, so we started from a higher position,” Spratt told DTN.
But he said there’s some good news: There are some indications global supply issues may be easing, which could mean more supply heading to the market.
Less fertilizer than normal was applied in many areas of the Corn Belt this fall thanks to a slow-moving harvest and uncooperative weather.
Spratt said his area of central Illinois had a good run of phosphorus and potash application, but only about half the normal number of acres saw a fall anhydrous application. He isn’t as worried about the amount of work that needs to be done this spring.
“I’m not as worried about this as some, as my nitrogen usage is 80% UAN32 and we are a high sidedress location, so that spreads out our workload,” he said.
All eight of the major fertilizers are now higher compared to last year with prices shifting higher. Potash and MAP are both 10% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 13% higher, DAP is 14% more expensive, urea is 17% higher, UAN32 is 20% more expensive, UAN28 is 22% higher and anhydrous is now 23% more expensive compared to last year.
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.
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