© Debra L Ferguson
Retail fertilizer prices tracked by DTN continued to be mostly higher the second week of March 2022. Two fertilizers spiked considerably higher.
For the second week in a row, seven of the eight major fertilizers were higher compared to the previous month, but only two were up a significant amount. DTN designates a significant move as anything 5% or more.
DAP and 10-34-0 were both 5% higher compared to last month. DAP had an average price of $ 919 per ton, while 10-34-0 was at $ 866 / ton.
The remaining five fertilizers were slightly higher. MAP had an average price of $ 955 / ton, potash $ 822 / ton, anhydrous $ 1,490 / ton, UAN28 $ 603 (all-time high price) and UAN32 $ 704 / ton (all-time high price).
One fertilizer was slightly lower compared to the prior month. Urea had an average price of $ 901 / ton.
On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $ 0.98 / lb.N, anhydrous $ 0.91 / lb.N, UAN28 $ 1.08 / lb.N and UAN32 $ 1.10 / lb.N.
USDA announced on Friday it will support additional fertilizer production to address the rising cost of nutrients. The government agency will put $ 250 million in a grant program to support new fertilizer production, according to a USDA news release.
To address the growing competitive concerns, USDA will also launch a public inquiry seeking information regarding seeds and agricultural inputs, fertilizer and retail markets.
“Recent supply chain disruptions from the global pandemic to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s unprovoked war against Ukraine have shown just how important it is to invest in this crucial link in the agricultural supply chain here at home,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The planned investment is one example of many Biden-Harris administration initiatives to bring production and jobs back to the United States, promote competition, and support American goods and services.” (Read more on what Vilsack had to say at Commodity Classic here.)
USDA will use funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) set aside in September for market disruptions to develop a grant program. This will provide “gap” financing to bring new, independent domestic fertilizer production capacity online, similar to the recently announced meat and poultry grants that are designed to promote competition in that sector.
Details on the application process will be announced in the summer of 2022, with the first awards expected before the end of 2022.
USDA will seek information specifically on fertilizer, seed and agricultural inputs and retail and wholesale markets. The comment period will be for 60 days once the requests for information are published in the Federal Register.
USDA will use the comments to develop reports and policies relating to fair and competitive markets, according to the release. Subsequent actions might range from new grant and loan programs to additional rules and regulations under the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 and other relative laws to increase fairness and competition in American agriculture markets.
Most fertilizers continue to be considerably higher in prices than one year earlier.
MAP is now 38% more expensive, 10-34-0 is 49% higher, DAP is 50% more expensive, urea is 87% higher, potash is 95% more expensive, UAN28 is 97% higher, UAN32 104% is more expensive and anhydrous is 139% higher compared to last year.
DTN surveys about 300 retailers to compile the DTN Fertilizer Index each week. In addition to national averages, MyDTN subscribers can access the full DTN Fertilizer Index, which includes state averages, here.
Brazil is looking for new sources for fertilizers as the Russia-Ukraine military conflict threatens to cut off shipments of nutrients to the South American agriculture giant. You can read it here.
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Russ Quinn can be reached at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter at @RussQuinnDTN