DAP and MAP were mixed on the week as potash firmed.
- DAP $91.93 below year-ago pricing -- higher 5 cents/st on the week to $441.44/st.
- MAP $110.75 below year-ago -- lower $1.23/st this week to $444.07/st.
- Potash $103.89 below year-ago -- higher $1.70/st this week to $307.25/st.
The national average corn basis firmed 2 cents from last week to 13 3/4 cents below March futures. The national average cash corn price firmed 6 cents from last week to $3.48 1/4. Basis is softer than the three-year average, which is 5 cents below futures for this week.
MAP was our only decliner in the P&K segment this week, falling $1.23 per short ton. Wisconsin led to the downside, falling $20.00 per short ton as Illinois fell $4.23 and Kansas fell 94 cents. Three states were unchanged as gains were led by South Dakota which firmed $3.62 as Iowa added $2.85 and Nebraska firmed $2.06.
DAP was only a nickel higher on the week, led by Nebraska which firmed $4.80 along with Michigan, up $1.75. Four states were unchanged as Indiana fell $2.67 to lead declines followed by Kansas which softened $1.86.
Potash continued to add mild price gains on the week led by Wisconsin which firmed $10.68 on the week followed by South Dakota up $4.63 and Kansas adding $3.95.
We advised growers book potash for intended corn acres for spring 2017 at current prices this week. We do not expect a sharp run-up in potash prices, but at the same time, we do not expect prices to soften as the downside appears to have been exhausted. Potash is still a phenomenal value when compared to expected new-crop corn revenue and the rest of the fertilizer segment so there is some room for gambling, but higher prices at this time of year have limited downside potential even through the winter offseason and we believe production curtailments will keep potash prices from falling from here.
We also advised growers hook into their expected nitrogen needs for spring. But on both potash and nitrogen, we advised growers only pull the trigger on as many corn acres they intend to plant AT THIS TIME. Total, farmwide acreage decisions are still in flux for a lot of farmers, but we feel booking nutrient to cover those guaranteed corn acres now will serve two purposes. One is that we can capture the great values that N & K currently present. There is no guarantee that fertilizer prices will retrace what has been gained in this post-harvest, low demand period of time. The second aim of our advice is to help farmers make acreage decisions based on what fertilizer prices do from here. If nitrogen prices firm sharply, we at least have our baseline corn acres covered, and you can figure from there what corn/soybeans mixes will work for you. If fertilizer prices fall through the winter, corn will have effectively "bought acres" on the basis of lower than expected inputs costs.
Position yourself to manage risk and to allow your production costs to play a role in your acreage decisions by booking the nitrogen and potash you will need for your guaranteed corn acres at current prices.
By the Pound -- The following is an updated table of P&K pricing by the pound as reported to your Inputs Monitor for the week ended December 9, 2016.
DAP is priced at 46 1/4 cents/lbP2O5; MAP at 41 1/4 cents/lbP2O5; Potash is at 25 3/4 cents/lbK2O.
P&K pricing by the pound -- 12/16/2016