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- DTN Headline News
DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
By Russ Quinn
Wednesday, July 28, 2021 8:16AM CDT

OMAHA (DTN) -- Retail fertilizer prices appear to be moving in two different directions the third week of July 2021, according to sellers surveyed by DTN.

For the first time since the third week of January 2021, or six full months ago, some retail fertilizer prices were actually lower than the previous month.

Both UAN28 and UAN32 are slightly lower, as was the case the third week of January. UAN28 had an average price of $365 per ton while UAN32 was at $419/ton.

For the fifth week in a row, potash led the increase in fertilizer prices. Potash was a whopping 15% more expensive compared to last month and had average price of $543/ton.

Prices for the remaining five fertilizers saw just slight increases. DAP had an average price of $695/ton, DAP $750/ton, urea $553/ton, 10-34-0 $632/ton and anhydrous $736/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.60/lb.N, anhydrous $0.45/lb.N, UAN28 $0.65/lb.N and UAN32 $0.65/lb.N.

I've been writing this column for nearly 13 years now, and sometimes there are weeks when there are interesting things to detail and other times, well ... there just aren't. For literally four years, this was the case with potash.

It is particularly noticeable when our data is put into chart form. Most years, potash prices maintained a relatively flat line across the price charts, while nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers would rise and fall nearly every fall and spring.

After seeing the price of potash push through the $500-per-ton level and reach its highest level in the last eight years last week, I was curious to take a closer look at the potash prices in our data set.

When we started tracking retail fertilizer prices in the first week of November 2008, potash price was also the highest it's ever been -- $896/ton. Suddenly, $500/ton potash doesn't look so bad.

As you might remember, November 2008 turned out to be the high point for fertilizer prices, and prices declined in 2009. By the same week in November 2009, the average retail price of potash was at $592/ton. A year later, in November 2010, the price had declined to $508/ton.

In 2011, the retail potash price rose over the year and was back above $600/ton. Prices in the $600/ton range held on for another year, as the average price in November 2012 was at $617/ton.

Then, the price of potash began a slow decline. By November 2013, the average price was $491/ton, by November 2014 it was $480/ton, and by November 2015, the price was down to $430/ton.

The fall-off in potash prices accelerated in the end of 2015 and through 2016. By November 2016, potash's average retail price was at $314/ton.

After that, potash's price remained in the $300/ton range for several years. From November 2016 through the third week of February 2021 -- just over four years -- the fertilizer's price never fluctuated much, always staying in the $300/ton range.

Things changed during the winter 2021, as retail fertilizer prices began to move higher and potash rose to over $400/ton in the third week of February. And, in the last couple weeks, potash price has pushed above $500/ton.

I guess it is only natural to see potash prices rise like prices for the other seven major fertilizers have, considering how much they have increased in the last six months. But seeing a potash price starting with something other than a three will take me a while to get used to.

Retail fertilizer prices have all increased significantly from a year ago.

10-34-0 is now 36% more expensive, potash is 51% higher (last week was at 39%), urea is 54% more expensive, UAN32 is 59% higher, anhydrous is 60% more expensive, UAN28 62% higher, DAP is 71% more expensive and MAP is 75% higher 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.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Jul 20-24, 2020 407 428 360 358
Aug 17-21 2020 427 434 353 356
Sep 14-18 2020 434 448 344 360
Oct 12-16 2020 445 475 332 359
Nov 9-13 2020 454 486 333 358
Dec 7-11 2020 456 510 348 361
Jan 4-8 2021 482 543 369 368
Feb 1-5 2021 554 601 389 429
Mar 1-5 2021 609 673 416 474
Mar 29-Apr 2 2021 618 697 429 502
Apr 26-30 2021 629 703 433 513
May 24-28 2021 652 709 443 523
Jun 21-25 2021 670 720 469 541
Jul 19-23 2021 695 750 543 553
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Jul 20-24, 2020 466 460 225 263
Aug 17-21 2020 465 445 220 259
Sep 14-18 2020 455 431 219 253
Oct 12-16 2020 457 424 209 249
Nov 9-13 2020 455 422 208 248
Dec 7-11 2020 464 429 210 252
Jan 4-8 2021 464 470 209 251
Feb 1-5 2021 502 507 239 272
Mar 1-5 2021 560 560 254 304
Mar 29-Apr 2 2021 599 685 340 377
Apr 26-30 2021 613 710 350 391
May 24-28 2021 619 719 361 407
Jun 21-25 2021 625 724 366 420
Jul 19-23 2021 632 736 365 419

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN


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