Fertilizer Bulletin | Nitrogen Prices Rise as Demand Persists

Posted on 05/22/2019 3:52 PM


  • Fertilizer prices were mostly higher on the week.
  • Our Nutrient Composite Index (NCI) firmed 0.94 points to 631.50.


  • Nitrogen prices were higher across the board with urea leading gains for the third consecutive week.
  • Anhydrous ammonia gained nearly a full dollar per short ton at 98 cents higher on the week.
  • UAN32% firmed 58 cents per short ton regionally as UAN28% firmed 2 cents.
  • With Friday's rise in corn futures prices and the subsequent followthrough on Monday May 20, expected new-crop corn revenue recaptured a hefty premium to one ton of anhydrous ammonia.nitrogen indices chart

While USDA reported corn planting progress dramatically behind the five-year average pace in the most recent report week, some farmers have not yet been able to apply preplant chemicals and nitrogen. Suddenly, the corn market is showing a little life, reaching an 11 month high on the gap higher in July futures on Monday. But the news is in response to clear difficulties and ongoing threats to yields based on the late planting date.

There are a number of implications related to the late start and to the limited amount of nitrogen applied by late May. We will explore those in the coming weeks, but to discuss them prematurely would amount to pure conjecture, which helps no one in this case.

For those readers who have pledged to lock in some sales at the $4 mark, December futures have presented that opportunity. Its out of my scope to make official advice, but i will say, many experts that I have spoken with believe rallies will be short lived and must be taken advantage of. After a few days of corn price support, those same experts believe the upside may open farther, but prudence demands action, and consider taking advantage with at least a small sale.

Nitrogen prices may continue to climb as planting windows appear here and there, and demand for sidedress p and k indices chartlooks to be much higher than in recent years, so we recommend a conversation with your preferred fertilizer retailer if you have not yet locked in your post-emerge nitrogen.


  • Phosphates were mixed with DAP off slightly and MAP less than one dollar higher on the week.
  • Most states were unchanged on DAP this week with gains and declines coming in mostly less than a dollar. The exception was Kansas DAP which fell $2.70 per short ton.
  • It was a similar story in MAP with gains and declines less than a dollar nearly offsetting each other, and Iowa gaining $6.08 to urge the regional average higher.
  • According to MosaicCo., wholesale phosphate prices firmed at Central Florida Terminals and at NOLA.


  • Potash gained just 48 cents on the week with Michigan and Iowa leading gains.
  • MosaicCo. reported lower wholesale potash prices at U.S. terminals during the report week.

Corn Futures

  • December 2019 corn futures closed Friday May 17 at $3.98 putting expected new-crop revenue (eNCR) at $660.21 per acre -- higher $46.02 per acre on the week.
  • With our Nutrient Composite Index (NCI) at 631.50 this week, the eNCR/NCI spread softened 45.08 points and now stands at -28.71.
Current Week
+98 cents
-18 cents
+63 cents
+48 cents
+2 cents
+58 cents

Nutrient Composite Index chart

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