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Fertilizer Prices Move Higher, as Brisk Rate of Increases Slows- Pending Tariffs Raising Concerns

DTN writer Russ Quinn reported on Wednesday that, “It’s a new year, but the same story of fertilizer prices moving higher.

Average retail fertilizer prices continued to rise the first week of January 2022. However, the percentages by which prices climbed were much lower than they have been in recent months.

“Only one fertilizer was up a substantial amount. DTN designates a sizeable move as anything 5% or more.”

“DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends,” by Russ Quinn. DTN (January 12, 2022).

The DTN article stated that, “Leading the way higher was 10-34-0, which was up 5% from a month prior. The starter fertilizer’s average price was $795 per ton.

“The remaining seven fertilizers had just slight price increases compared to the prior month.

DAP had an average price of $863/ton, MAP $931/ton, potash $807/ton, urea $913/ton (all-time high), anhydrous $1,430/ton (all-time high), UAN28 $584/ton (all-time high) and UAN32 $679/ton (all-time high).

“On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.99/lb.N, anhydrous $0.87/lb.N, UAN28 $1.04/lb.N and UAN32 $1.06/lb.N.”

Earlier this week, Daniel Grant reported at FarmWeekNow Online that, “While it seems fertilizer prices suddenly shot up overnight, the start of the massive runup actually dates back to the fall of 2020.

“And it could be an equally long road ahead before farmers see substantial price relief after the industry endured a perfect storm of weather issues and plant shutdowns that leaves fertilizer supplies tight heading into spring planting season.

“‘Producers (of fertilizer products) are going to keep prices elevated, probably into the spring season with all the global factors going on and a tight domestic market,’ Alex Zook, associate product manager, NH3, for GROWMARK, told the RFD Radio Network. ‘I don’t really see these values dropping off any time soon.'”

And an update on Wednesday from the National Corn Growers Association [NCGA] stated that, “A new economic analysis released today by researchers at Texas A&M University has corn growers raising concerns that pending tariffs on nitrogen fertilizers will create shortages and cause prices to increase even more for farmers, according to the [NCGA].”

The study notes that the price of one type of nitrogen fertilizer, called anhydrous ammonia, increased by $688 per ton – $86,000 for a 1,000-acre farm – from the end of 2020 through the end of October 2021.

“The study has farmers raising concerns about a petition by CF Industries, one of the country’s major nitrogen producers, with the U.S. International Trade Commission to impose tariffs on nitrogen fertilizers imported from Trinidad & Tobago and Russia. The U.S. Department of Commerce has since released a preliminary finding recommending tariffs, despite strong outcry from farm groups.

“‘The proposed tariffs will create shortages and drive our costs up even higher,’ Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington said.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the social media manager for the farmdoc project at the University of Illinois. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily FarmPolicy.com News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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