Anhydrous Our Sole Gainer on the Week

Posted on 11/20/2019 1:08 PM


  • Fertilizer prices were mostly lower although anhydrous ammonia firmed slightly.
  • Our Nutrient Composite Index (NCI) shucked 6.02 points this week to 557.59.

Some have questioned if now is the time to lock in spring anhydrous needs. Were it not for the propane situation, I would be more inclined to wait. A source told the Inputs Monitor via text on Tuesday, "I just got filled up and the driver told me they do not have any trucks hauling NH3 right now, they are all hauling propane." As farmers near the end of harvest in some areas, propane deliveries are beginning to catch their breath. That's in central Iowa. A panelist from Wisconsin told the AgriTalk radio audience this morning deliveries in his area are still subject to allotment restrictions. Those restrictions signal suppliers there are still struggling to keep up with demand, and the smart money would bet trucks have been diverted away from hauling NH3 there as well.

The supply condition is loosening in Iowa more quickly than we had anticipated which suggests availability will ripple outward over the coming days and weeks. That will allow retailers to refocus on refilling anhydrous coffers for spring. But until we hear reports to that effect, we remain on edge for spring NH3 supplies. there is the potential for a delivery crisis in the spring if those coffers are not filled on schedule and the story will be the same as propane. "There is plenty to be had in the U.S., just not where it is needed most." As with propane, supplies are not the concern. Its the supply distribution that is cause for concern.nitrogen indices chart

We have advised growers fill between 30 and 50% of expected spring NH3 needs, and we will stick to our guns on that for now. If you have not looked into locking in half of your expected spring NH3 needs, we strongly recommend you talk with your preferred retailer right away to get a handle on current supplies, how much propane deliveries have hampered refill and if delivery in the spring will be a problem. Guesses on corn acreage next spring vary between roughly 91 and 95 million acres. The high end of those guesses would have the power to inflate prices to some degree. We advise you get out ahead of demand and distribution risk by getting a firm grip on your local situation and act accordingly.

If this all blows over and the LP delivery crisis is just a short-term blip on the radar, we do not expect nitrogen prices to surge aggressively. Urea prices are set to come under pressure as India rolls back some purchases and on increasing U.S. production. We expect UAN prices to shoot the gap between anhydrous ammonia and urea meaning if urea or anhydrous surge to the upside, UAN prices will follow. A little forethought and strategy will go a long way and locking in some of what you will need now will help mitigate your upside price risk.


  • Anhydrous ammonia was the only fertilizer in our survey to post a price increase this week, up $1.75 per short ton. That was led by a $6.65 gain in Illinois as Missouri and Nebraska added just over 5 bucks per ton. Most states were unchanged, and no state posted a lower anhydrous price this week.
  • UAN32% led declines in the nitrogen segment with Ohio off $50.70 and Missouri down $45.90. Five of twelve states were unchanged and only Indiana was higher, up 69 cents per ton on the week.
  • Urea fell $2.21 on the week with Missouri down $11.70 and South Dakota off $2.83. Five states were unchanged and, again, Indiana was our sole gainer, up $2.83 per ton on the week.
  • The story was basically the same for UAN28% which softened $1.12 this week. Five states unchanged with Nebraska down p and k indices chart$9.38 and North Dakota off $7.83. Ohio firmed $4.06 and South Dakota gained $1.29.


  • Phosphates were lower this week with MAP leading declines.
  • MAP was pulled lower by Ohio, which fell $22.20 as Nebraska dropped $19.10. Six states were unchanged and no state posted a higher MAP price on the week.
  • DAP was lower as well with Ohio down $48.30 and Missouri off $10.30. Nine states were unchanged with Illinois up $2.08, DAP's sole gainer.
  • According to MosaicCo., wholesale phosphates fell moderately at all reporting U.S. terminals in the week ended November 15.


  • Potash fell $3.93 on the week led by Missouri, down $20.90 and Ohio off $16.40. Seven states were unchanged with Nebraska firming $3.58.
  • According to data from MosaicCo., wholesale potash prices softened at NOLA and in the Corn Belt during the report week.

Corn Futures

  • December 2020 corn futures closed Friday November 15 at $3.95 putting expected new-crop revenue (eNCR) at $651.20 per acre.
  • With our Nutrient Composite Index (NCI) at 557.59 this week, the eNCR/NCI spread narrowed 4.54 points and stands at -93.61.
Current Week

nutrient composite index chart

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