Fertilizer prices remain steady

The prices of all major fertilizers have remained steady during the past eight months, according to USDA statistics.

The May 9, 2013, approximate retail prices for bulk purchases of major fertilizers per ton, published in the USDA Illinois Department of Agriculture Market News Report were:

  • $600 for Diammonium phosphate (DAP)
  • $614 for Monoammonium phosphate (MAP)
  • $567 for Potash
  • $527 for Urea
  • $392 for Urea-Ammonium Nitrate (UAN 28%)
  • $888 for Anhydrous ammonia

The monthly price trends for the period September 2012 to May 2013 are shown in Figure 1. The price trends prior to this period were reported in the Michigan State University Extension article “Price trends of major fertilizers.”

Figure 1. Fertilizer prices ($/Ton)

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Data source: USDA-Illinois Dept. of Ag Market News Springfield, Ill., cash prices for bulk purchases, granular form unless noted.

The retail prices of all major fertilizers remained relatively stable during the past eight months. Overall, however, the price of nitrogen fertilizers is showing a slightly upward trend compared to phosphorus and potassium fertilizers, which are on a slightly downward trend. Given the fact that fertilizer is the single biggest input cost for corn production, MSU Extension recommends that producers be aware of possible price fluctuations over time and take advantage of purchasing options.  Industry experts believe that despite the current fertilizer market stability, any unforeseen deterioration in global economic conditions might cause dramatic price shifts, like it did in 2008.

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