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- DTN Headline News
DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 10:48AM CDT

By Russ Quinn
DTN Staff Reporter

OMAHA (DTN) -- International banking giant Rabobank recently reported higher retail fertilizer prices could be on deck for the third quarter of 2014, not good news for farmers already concerned about 2015 profits. Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN for the second week of September 2014 continue to show very little movement in either direction. In contrast, corn prices recently plunged to four-year lows.

Seven of the eight major fertilizers had lower prices compared to last month, but much like the last several weeks, these moves to the low side had very little importance. DAP had an average price of $581 per ton, MAP $598/ton, urea $516/ton, 10-34-0 $554/ton, anhydrous $681/ton, UAN28 $330/ton and UAN32 $377/ton.

The remaining fertilizer was higher in price compared to a month earlier, but it was not up significantly. Potash had an average price of $475/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.56/lb.N, anhydrous $0.42/lb.N, UAN28 $0.59/lb.N and UAN32 $0.59/lb.N.

Rabobank International released their fertilizer quarterly report for the third quarter of 2014 this week. The Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory division of the company reported fertilizers are rising from the levels seen earlier this year, but the upside in prices is restricted thanks to lower commodity prices.

"Rabobank believes that bearish commodity prices will have limited impact on input use in the short term, while the medium-term picture could see farmers reducing fertilizer applications as margins come under more pressure," Rabobank reported.

As fertilizer retailers, farmers and agronomists have been reporting in recent months, logistics are set to be the key driver of U.S. fertilizer prices once again this fall. Rabobank points to rail companies only having a limited numbers of cars available to ship potash out of Canada into the U.S. as well as the congested barge market making delivery through New Orleans "an unattractive alternative."

Rabobank stated they believe the U.S. will see a fertilizer price hike in the next few months. Prices, however, are expected to return to lower levels once the fall fertilizer application season is completed.

Farmers are likely to reevaluate fertilizer application this fall because of the large drop off in commodity prices, the report states.

"In Rabobank's view, lower crop prices will not force farmers to radically reduce fertilizer application in the U.S. in the short term," the report said. "If farmers save anything on fertilizer application at all, this is most likely to concern P and K application (as was the case in 2008) but not N application."

Only one of the eight major fertilizers is now double digits higher in price compared to September of 2013. Urea is up 10% compared to year earlier followed by DAP up 7% and MAP, 10-34-0 and anhydrous up 2%.

UAN32 is 1% higher from last year while UAN28 is 1% lower. Potash is 8% lower compared to 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 prices 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
Oct 7-11, 2013 524.49 566.67 493.45 442.04
Nov 4-8 2013 518.62 563.77 490.79 439.94
Dec 2-6 2013 514.59 553.69 485.27 439.53
Dec 30 2013-Jan 3 2014 493.76 518.84 475.98 450.88
Jan 27-31 2014 515.68 541.87 470.83 494.95
Feb 24-28 2014 541.13 561.43 472.44 521.67
Mar 24-28 2014 572.80 594.86 474.39 542.38
Apr 21-25 2014 587.09 619.85 475.54 555.11
May 19-23 2014 595.77 630.64 480.02 552.96
June 16-20 2014 606.75 630.75 489.57 540.32
July 14-18 2014 590.68 618.24 482.27 535.23
Aug 11-15 2014 589.39 608.49 473.72 517.05
Sept 8-12 2014 581.00 597.83 474.82 515.71
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
Oct 7-11, 2013 522.83 654.00 323.41 368.60
Nov 4-8 2013 517.59 652.20 320.37 366.99
Dec 2-6 2013 515.33 645.61 317.55 360.57
Dec 30 2013-Jan 3 2014 507.14 620.28 316.43 361.84
Jan 27-31 2014 498.35 616.93 332.31 379.41
Feb 24-28 2014 509.47 620.96 341.37 387.11
Mar 24-28 2014 514.19 633.09 349.16 393.30
Apr 21-25 2014 530.37 691.60 355.12 401.59
May 19-23 2014 556.15 698.01 354.85 406.49
June 16-20 2014 580.54 711.20 363.14 414.84
July 14-18 2014 556.53 683.79 348.07 399.93
Aug 11-15 2014 555.18 687.19 336.91 378.79
Sept 8-12 2014 553.99 681.37 329.70 376.67

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

(AG)


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