Prices for Most Fertilizers Continue to Move Higher at Start of 2021

OMAHA (DTN) — Average retail prices for fertilizers showed some mixed moves the first week of January 2021 after several consecutive weeks of all prices moving higher, according to sellers surveyed by DTN.

Six of the eight major fertilizer prices were higher compared to the prior month. Four were up a significant amount, which DTN designates as 5% or more. Both DAP and potash were 6% higher than a month ago with DAP having an average price of $482 per ton and potash $369/ton.

MAP was up 7% from last month with an average price of $543/ton. Anhydrous was 10% higher compared to last month with an average price of $470/ton.

Two other fertilizers were slightly higher from a year earlier. Urea had an average price of $368/ton and 10-34-0 $464/ton.

The remaining two fertilizers were slightly lower in price from last month. UAN28 had an average price of $209/ton, while UAN32 is at $251/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.40/lb.N, anhydrous $0.29/lb.N, UAN28 $0.37/lb.N and UAN32 $0.39/lb.N.

The end of the year is when many farmers buy inputs for year-end tax-planning purposes. Among the items they buy is fertilizer for the next growing season.

DTN recently asked the following poll question: “Which of the following best describes your fertilizer buying strategy here at year-end?” over the last couple weeks of the 2020 and the first week of 2021.

With 353 total responses, the top answer was “Yes, I have already bought fertilizer,” with 55% of the vote. Eighteen percent answered “Yes, I will buy fertilizer before the end of the year.”

Two answers garnered 11% of responses. These were “No, I will buy fertilizer later this winter,” and “No, I will buy fertilizer this spring.”

The final option, “No, I will not be buying fertilizer at all,” had 5% of the total responses.

It is interesting to see such a high percentage of those who took the poll already preordered fertilizer or were buying it by the end of the year. A combined 73% of the respondents gave these answers.

Another factor in this high number was the fairly open fall fertilizer application season after harvest this fall in most areas of the Corn Belt.

While some regions cannot apply in the fall, we did see quite a bit of fertilizer already applied after harvest. With retail fertilizer prices rising so much in recent weeks, those farmers who did apply fertilizer this fall are probably even more happy with this decision.

Retail fertilizer prices continue to be mostly lower in price from a year ago, but there are a few exceptions. Urea is 3% more expensive, DAP is 11% higher while MAP is 22% more expensive compared to last year.

Both potash and 10-34-0 are 2% less expensive, anhydrous is 3% lower, UAN32 is 8% lower and UAN28 is 12% 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
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 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
LIQUID
Date Range 10-34-0 ANHYD UAN28 UAN32
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
Nov 9-13 2020 455 422 208 248
Dec 7-11 2020 464 429 210 252
Jan 4-8 2021 464 470 209 251

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

Follow him on Twitter @RussQuinnDTN