Fertilizer prices dramatically increased last Spring. After anhydrous ammonia spent most of 2018 around $500 per ton, prices jumped to more than $600 per ton in early 2019. Prices remained mostly unchanged until late summer. This week’s post reviews the latest fertilizer price data.
Lower Fertilizer Prices
Figure 1 shows the average prices of anhydrous ammonia, DAP, and potash in Illinois, as reported by the USDA, since January 2015. Fertilizer prices have fallen from their highs during the farm economy boom. Since 2015, anhydrous ammonia prices have ranged from a higher of more than $700 per ton to a low of $400 per ton.
Broadly speaking, prices reached their lows between 2016 and 2017. Potash prices fell to $300 per ton in late 2016, while DAP nearly hit $400 per ton in early 2017. Anhydrous ammonia hit its low of $400 per ton in late 2017. Since the 2016-2017 lows, prices have trended higher. Potash prices, for example, climbed from $300 per ton to nearly $400 per ton in 2019.
In recent weeks, fertilizer prices have sharply declined. Compared to prices last spring -the average of prices reported in April and May- anhydrous ammonia prices are down 22% and DAP 17% lower. Potash prices have also declined (-5%).
Of course, not all nitrogen prices are equal. Figure 2 shows the reported prices for anhydrous ammonia, urea, and liquid 28%. Over time, they have followed a similar price trend, and all three products have seen prices fall from spring highs. That said, anhydrous ammonia prices have fallen the most (-22%), while urea (-8%) and liquid 28% (-10%) have seen smaller adjustments.
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