DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter
OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail fertilizer prices continued to be fairly steady with no significant moves either higher or lower the third week of April 2017, according to fertilizer retailers surveyed by DTN.
Of the eight major fertilizers, five are slightly higher in price compared to a month earlier. Those are DAP, MAP, potash, anhydrous and UAN32. DAP had an average price of $438 per ton, MAP $466/ton, potash $339/ton, anhydrous $509/ton and UAN32 $280/ton.
The remaining three fertilizers were slightly lower in price from last month. Urea had an average price of $352/ton, 10-34-0 $437/ton and UAN28 $247/ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.38/lb.N, anhydrous $0.31/lb.N, UAN28 $0.44/lb.N and UAN32 $0.44/lb.N.
Last week, I attended the official opening of Iowa Fertilizer Company's (IFCo) new nitrogen fertilizer production facility near Wever, Iowa, along the Mississippi River in southeastern Iowa. The plant is the first greenfield facility built in the U.S. in 25 years.
The sprawling facility will produce 1.7 million to 2.2 million tons of fertilizer products annually in the form of ammonia, urea and UAN. Fertilizer isn't the only nitrogen-related product the facility will manufacture -- diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) will also be produced.
In addition to production facilities, IFCo also built a large distribution center to quickly load trucks with ammonia and get them back out to the country. While at the facility last Wednesday, I saw many trucks and trailers pull into the loading area and then leave with loads of anhydrous.
During the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, officials from IFCo, OCI NV (IFCo's Egypt-based parent company) and politicians spoke. They all said pretty much the same thing: Having a local, dependable supply of nitrogen fertilizer is good news for corn farmers of Iowa and Illinois, the top two corn-producing states.
What does this new supply mean for nitrogen prices in the future? No one knows for sure, but simple logic seems to indicate with lower transportation costs involved, nitrogen fertilizer should be less expensive for farmers, especially for those in the roughly 300-mile radius served by the new plant.
At the same time, it's unlikely fertilizer companies will flood the market with nitrogen, as that would significantly lower prices and reduce the companies' profits.
I think that, in the short term, some of the nitrogen imports into the U.S. may be replaced with this additional domestic product, so prices may not move much. Last November at The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) annual Outlook Conference, the presenter of the nitrogen outlook had several graphics showing U.S. nitrogen imports being cut in half in the coming years.
Longer term, nitrogen prices may decrease for some U.S. farmers, as they will not be so dependent on fertilizer produced in other parts of the world, which can be affected by geopolitical issues. It will be fascinating to see what does happen to retail nitrogen fertilizer prices in the coming years with the addition of the new Iowa plant.
Retail fertilizers are lower compared to a year earlier. Half of the eight major fertilizers are still double digits lower.
10-34-0 is 22% lower from a year ago, both anhydrous and UAN32 are 13% less expensive and UAN28 is 10% lower. Urea is 9% less expensive. Both DAP and potash are 8% lower, and MAP is 7% less expensive compared to a year earlier.
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.
DTN's average of retail fertilizer prices from a month earlier ($ per ton):
|Apr 18-22 2016||477||502||366||388|
|May 16-20 2016||476||501||365||384|
|June 13-17 2016||469||496||359||367|
|July 11-15 2016||467||496||358||360|
|Aug 8-12 2016||453||482||344||345|
|Sept 5-9 2016||446||464||325||325|
|Oct 3-7 2016||438||451||312||315|
|Oct 31-Nov 4 2016||436||451||314||319|
|Nov 28-Dec 2 2016||435||445||318||331|
|Dec 26-30 2016||431||443||321||336|
|Jan 23-27 2017||429||443||322||347|
|Feb 20-24 2017||433||452||332||359|
|Mar 20-24 2017||438||464||338||356|
|Apr 17-21 2017||438||466||339||352|
|Apr 18-22 2016||561||588||274||322|
|May 16-20 2016||558||588||274||321|
|June 13-17 2016||555||566||266||305|
|July 11-15 2016||538||547||266||306|
|Aug 8-12 2016||528||522||249||299|
|Sept 5-9 2016||478||502||228||274|
|Oct 3-7 2016||454||472||224||263|
|Oct 31-Nov 4 2016||452||471||244||262|
|Nov 28-Dec 2 2016||447||465||217||256|
|Dec 26-30 2016||437||466||217||254|
|Jan 23-27 2017||436||480||235||268|
|Feb 20-24 2017||440||490||241||276|
|Mar 20-24 2017||441||507||248||280|
|Apr 17-21 2017||437||509||247||280|
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Russ Quinn on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN
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