- DTN Headline News
DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
By Russ Quinn
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.

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
Oct 14-18, 2019 465 472 382 402
Nov 11-15 2019 457 465 382 388
Dec 9-13 2019 445 463 378 380
Jan 6-10 2020 435 444 375 358
Feb 3-7 2020 413 435 373 361
Mar 2-6 2020 409 432 369 369
Mar 30-Apr 3 2020 408 432 370 383
Apr 27-May 1 2020 413 433 370 386
May 25-29 2020 410 434 365 377
Jun 22-26 2020 404 429 363 359
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 455 473 332 359
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Oct 14-18, 2019 471 507 253 289
Nov 11-15 2019 473 496 246 284
Dec 9-13 2019 470 489 241 276
Jan 6-10 2020 471 486 237 272
Feb 3-7 2020 464 490 235 277
Mar 2-6 2020 466 490 235 277
Mar 30-Apr 3 2020 467 492 235 278
Apr 27-May 1 2020 468 492 237 279
May 25-29 2020 468 478 236 279
Jun 22-26 2020 468 463 233 273
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

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

Follow him on Twitter at @RussQuinnDTN


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