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Wholesale Fertilizer Prices “Tumble,” Bloomberg

Bloomberg writers Kim Chipman and Elizabeth Elkin reported on Friday that, “Corn farmers stung by soaring fertilizer costs in the aftermath of Ukraine’s invasion are poised for further relief as wholesale prices tumble to the lowest in almost two years.

“The spot Tampa anhydrous ammonia contract settled at $590 per metric ton, the lowest since July 2021 and down 25% from last week, according to Bloomberg’s fertilizer analysis publication Green Markets.

Tampa ammonia, the world’s benchmark, has plunged nearly 40% since January as production costs ease.

“Prices surged to record heights last year after Russia’s attack on Ukraine severely disrupted markets. Farmers heavily reliant on the crop nutrient ended up planting fewer corn acres in 2022, adding to global grain shortages and the worst food inflation in decades.”

Chipman and Elkin explained that, “A meaningful decline in wholesale prices typically indicates retail prices are set to drop, even if there is a lag. Retail prices have so far declined almost 17% since the start of the year. Less costly fertilizer is expected to help drive the most US corn plantings since before the war.”

Illinois Production Cost Report. USDA- Agricultural Marketing Service (February 23, 2023).

Also last week, DTN writer Russ Quinn reported that, “The downward trend in retail fertilizer prices continues, according to data tracked by DTN for the second full week of February 2023. This trend has been since the last week of December 2022.”

“DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends,” by Russ Quinn. DTN- Progressive Farmer (February 21, 2023).

Quinn explained that, “All eight of the major fertilizer prices are lower compared to last month. Only two, however, show considerable price declines compared to last month. DTN designates a significant move as anything 5% or more.

UAN32 and UAN28 lead the way lower once again. Both liquid nitrogen fertilizers were 10% less expensive than last month. UAN28 had an average price of $483/ton while UAN32 was at $572/ton.

“The remaining six fertilizers were all just slightly lower looking back to the prior month. DAP had an average price of $838/ton, MAP $857/ton, potash $692/ton, urea $686/ton, 10-34-0 $754/ton and anhydrous $1,213/ton.”

Iowa Cost of Production Report. USDA- Agricultural Marketing Service (February 21, 2023).

The DTN article added that, “All fertilizers’ prices are now lower compared to one year ago. DAP is 4% less expensive, MAP is 8% lower, 10-34-0 is 10% less expensive, potash is 15% lower, both anhydrous and UAN32 are 19% less expensive, UAN28 20% lower and urea is 23% less expensive compared to a year prior.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily 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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