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DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
By Russ Quinn
Wednesday, May 22, 2024 6:46AM CDT

OMAHA (DTN) -- Average retail prices for most fertilizers were lower during the second week of May 2024, according to sellers surveyed by DTN. This was the second week in a row that most fertilizer prices were lower.

Also, like last week, the price of just one fertilizer saw a significant move, which DTN designates as anything 5% or more. That was the price of urea, which was down 5% from a month ago. The nitrogen fertilizer had an average price of $556 per ton.

Prices of four other fertilizers were just slightly less expensive compared to last month. MAP had an average price of $829 per ton, potash $511/ton, anhydrous $792/ton and UAN28 $364/ton.

Three fertilizers were slightly higher in price from last month. DAP had an average price of $789/ton, 10-34-0 $642/ton and UAN32 $418/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was $0.60/lb.N, anhydrous $0.48/lb.N, UAN28 $0.65/lb.N and UAN32 $0.65/lb.N.

In a post titled "Are You Overspending on Fertilizer?" University of Minnesota Extension educator Brad Carlson examined the farm financial data from thousands of farmers in the Minnesota farm business management program (https://blog-crop-news.extension.umn.edu/…). Carlson said he looked at the fertilizer expense on a per-acre basis in the database to see if farmers were overspending on fertilizer.

Carlson discovered that in 2016, fertilizer costs for the 20% most-profitable farms averaged $138 per acre, while the 20% least-profitable farms spent $177 per acre on fertilizer -- a 28% difference.

"I have continued to track the reports annually, and the results have been relatively consistent over the years, with the least-profitable farms between 2017 and 2022 spending 15% to 30% more on fertilizer per year than the most profitable farms," Carlson wrote. "For comparison, the difference in seed cost averaged 0.5% to 12% more per year."

There were six main reasons why farmers overspent on fertilizer, according to Carlson. Those included putting on too much nitrogen, increasing nitrogen rate to mask bad application choices, applying phosphorus and potash when removal rates are already high, split-applying nitrogen when there is no advantage, using premium fertilizer products, and buying a fertility advisory technology that doesn't pay for itself.

Once again, all fertilizers are lower compared to one year ago. MAP is 1% lower, DAP is 5% less expensive, anhydrous is 12% lower, 10-34-0 is 13% less expensive, UAN28 is 14% lower, urea is 18% less expensive and both potash and UAN32 are now 19% lower compared to a year prior.

DTN gathers fertilizer price bids from agriculture retailers each week to compile the DTN Fertilizer Index. DTN first began reporting data in November 2008.

In addition to national averages, MyDTN subscribers can access the full DTN Fertilizer Index, which includes state averages, here: https://www.mydtn.com/….

Fertilizer manufacturer Mosaic said lower fertilizer prices led to a 26% drop in quarterly sales for the company to $2.7 billion, according to Dow Jones. You can read about it here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….

DRY
Date Range DAP MAP POTASH UREA
May 15-19 2023 829 831 627 619
June 12-16 2023 823 832 621 624
July 10-14 2023 811 823 614 609
Aug 7-Aug 11 2023 758 764 566 576
Sep 4-8 2023 738 745 518 563
Oct 2-6 2023 705 791 508 573
Oct 30-Nov 3 2023 713 801 508 573
Nov 27-Dec 1 2023 715 820 518 552
Dec 25-29 2023 721 812 514 536
Jan 22-26 2024 734 809 509 527
Feb 19-23 2024 749 812 506 534
Mar 18-22 2024 778 823 506 574
Apr 15-19 2024 780 830 513 585
May 13-17 2019 789 829 511 556
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
May 15-19 2023 739 895 421 514
June 12-16 2023 737 781 406 476
July 10-14 2023 730 734 393 465
Aug 7-Aug 11 2023 714 634 369 400
Sep 4-8 2023 611 693 356 390
Oct 2-6 2023 609 790 354 414
Oct 30-Nov 3 2023 611 826 358 415
Nov 27-Dec 1 2023 595 847 341 409
Dec 25-29 2023 599 792 340 394
Jan 22-26 2024 610 770 335 390
Feb 19-23 2024 615 764 339 393
Mar 18-22 2024 628 793 358 402
Apr 15-19 2024 641 794 364 418
May 13-17 2019 642 792 364 418

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

Follow him on social platform X @RussQuinnDTN.


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