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Two Month Trend of Lower Fertilizer Prices Continues

DTN writer Russ Quinn reported last week that, “Retail fertilizer prices continue on their path lower, according to prices tracked by DTN for the first full week of March 2023. This welcome trend has been in place for over two months.

“All eight of the major fertilizer prices are once again lower compared to last month. Five of the eight fertilizers had a considerable price decline. DTN designates a significant move as anything 5% or more.

“Leading the way lower were both anhydrous and UAN28. Anhydrous was 13% lower compared to last month and had an average price of $1,059/ton while UAN28 was also 13% less expensive and had an average price of $436/ton.”

“DTN Retail Fertilizer Trends,” by Russ Quinn. DTN- Progressive Farmer (March 15, 2023).

Quinn pointed out that,

All fertilizers are now lower double digits compared to one year ago.

DAP is 10% less expensive, MAP is 14% lower, 10-34-0 are 15% less expensive, potash is 20% lower, UAN32 is 26% less expensive, UAN28 is 28% lower and both urea and anhydrous are now 29% less expensive compared to a year prior.”

More narrowly on variables impacting costs, Wall Street Journal writers David Uberti and Ryan Dezember reported on the front page of Thursday’s paper that, “Last year was the most volatile on record for natural gas, boosting the cost to heat homes, generate electricity and manufacture economic building blocks such as fertilizer and steel.”

The Journal article noted that, “Benchmark gas futures, which determine what millions of Americans pay for heat and electricity, swung by at least 7% on 44 days last year, the most since at least the early 1990s, when gas markets were deregulated and the modern trading era began.

“The wild ride has continued this year, with 12 daily moves of 7% or greater. On many days, traders find it difficult to determine why prices move so sharply.

“Analysts, traders and big gas buyers expect this kind of instability to become the norm.”

And with respect to the cost of diesel fuel, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service indicated in is weekly Grain Transportation Report on Thursday that, “For the week ending March 13, the U.S. average diesel fuel price decreased 3.5 cents from the previous week to $4.247 per gallon, 100.3 cents below the same week last year.”

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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