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- DTN Headline News
DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:30AM CDT

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices are continuing fairly steady with one major exception, according to retailers tracked by DTN for the fourth week of March 2015.

As has been the case in March, 10-34-0 starter fertilizer is seeing much higher retail fertilizer prices because of issues surrounding an acid shortage used to manufacture the nutrient. 10-34-0 jumped 7% compared to a month earlier and has an average price of $639 per ton.

Six other major fertilizers were higher compared to a month earlier, but none of the six was up significantly. DAP averaged $570/ton, MAP $598/ton, potash $490/ton, anhydrous $706/ton, UAN28 $333/ton and UAN32 $371/ton.

Only one fertilizer slipped lower compared to the previous month. Urea was down just slightly during this time. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $467 per ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.51/lb.N, anhydrous $0.43/lb.N, UAN28 $0.59/lb.N and UAN32 $0.58/lb.N.

The weather -- specifically the lack of early spring rains in some areas of the Western Corn Belt -- could have a large effect on how much fertilizer is applied. Royce Bialas, Central Farmers Cooperative branch manager in Dimmock, South Dakota, said farmers in his southeastern South Dakota region have stopped applying fertilizers this spring because it is so dry.

"This is big deal for us; if it doesn't starting raining, we could be looking at maybe 30% of our tonnage not getting applied," Bialas told DTN.

Bialas said he hopes Mother Nature blesses them with rain soon, but if this dry stretch of weather continues into April, local farmers could be forced to alter their fertilizer plans.

Farmers could apply limited fertilizer before planting, plant the crop and then come back with a side-dressing trip later. While many of his farmer/customers already split apply nitrogen fertilizer, those who farm many acres might find it difficult to cover all their production with side-dressing operations, he said.

As for fertilizer prices, Bialas said the big news continues to be the price spike in 10-34-0 because of an acid shortage. This news has surprised many fertilizer retailers who try to keep a close eye out for supply issues, he said.

"I think farmers will still be able to get 10-34-0 this spring if they didn't lock in the price earlier, but they may not like the price of starter," he said. "I am guessing some farmers might try to find alternatives to starter fertilizer."

Two of the eight major fertilizers are now double digits higher in price compared to March 2014, all while commodity prices are significantly lower from a year ago. 10-34-0 is 24% higher while anhydrous is 12% more expensive compared to a year earlier.

Potash is 3% higher while MAP is 1% more expensive compared to a year earlier.

Four nutrients are now lower compared to retail prices from a year ago. DAP is 1% lower, UAN28 is down 5%, UAN32 is now 6% less expensive and urea is 14% cheaper.

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 November 2008 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.

DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Mar 24-28 2014 574 595 475 542
Apr 21-25 2014 587 620 476 555
May 19-23 2014 595 631 480 553
June 16-20 2014 596 629 483 535
July 14-18 2014 590 618 483 531
Aug 11-15 2014 589 609 474 517
Sept 8-12 2014 581 589 475 516
Oct 6-10 2014 581 600 478 509
Nov 3-7 2014 579 598 480 500
Dec 1-5 2014 573 592 481 485
Dec 29-Jan 2 2015 565 593 486 462
Jan 26-30 2015 568 597 487 472
Feb 23-27 2015 568 597 488 472
Mar 23-27 2015 570 598 490 467
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Mar 24-28 2014 514 633 349 394
Apr 21-25 2014 530 692 355 402
May 19-23 2014 556 698 355 407
June 16-20 2014 562 699 355 403
July 14-18 2014 557 684 348 400
Aug 11-15 2014 555 687 337 379
Sept 8-12 2014 554 681 330 377
Oct 6-10 2014 556 697 327 373
Nov 3-7 2014 559 705 324 369
Dec 1-5 2014 568 714 323 368
Dec 29-Jan 2 2015 576 707 322 353
Jan 26-30 2015 585 707 326 367
Feb 23-27 2015 598 706 330 370
Mar 23-27 2015 639 706 333 371

Russ Quinn can be reached at russ.quinn@dtn.com

(MZT/AG)


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