Phosphates Threaten Price Strength | Advice Updated

Posted on 09/13/2019 2:00 PM


  • Fertilizer prices were lower across the board with DAP leading declines.
  • Our Nutrient Composite Index (NCI) softened 2.00 points to 583.66.

Wholesale phosphate prices have our attention and while the retail market continues tophospahtes price chart soften, North American producers have announced they will continue their supply side management strategy to maintain phosphate's value. To that end, MosaicCo., announced this week they would idle production at their Louisiana plant. This is the classic "prevent defense" strategy MosaicCo. has used in the past and we expect at least mild support for phosphates in the retail market to arrive soon. This as farmers gear up for fall fieldwork, which will include replacing some P&K after last year's solid yield performance.

We have also observed P&K are among the first expenses to go out the window in a low commodity price environment. While I am all for cutting costs, at some point, prudent nutrient stewardship requires replacing phosphates in the soil and many suspect demand for phosphates will be high following this year's harvest.

We advise growers book 50% of expected phosphate needs for fall or spring application at current prices. Upside risk is building as the wholesale market works to sort itself out. Once P prices turn around and confirm a seasonal price floor, we will advise growers book remaining needs. Until then, our appetite for risk is waning, and the recent price plunge in retail phosphate is worth rewarding.

Nitrogennitrogen price chart

  • UAN32% led declines in the nitrogen segment with Kansas off $13 and Nebraska down $3.19 per short ton.
  • Anhydrous ammonia was lower on softness in Kansas and Illinois. But Missouri NH3 firmed $10 as Nebraska added $13.31 on the week.
  • Urea was lower although we are watching some potential price strength in wholesale markets. Kansas fell $8.45 and North Dakota softened $2.18 per short ton. Illinois firmed $5.80 and Minnesota gained $1.55.
  • UAN28% fell just 4 cents per short ton this week, but eleven of the twelve states we survey were unchanged as Kansas fell all of 49 cents per short ton.

You should be at least 30% filled on anhydrous for fall and for spring applications. We do recommend you fill fall needs before combines roll in your state, so keep a close watch on your local prices using the map on the homepage.

Phosphatep and k indices chart

  • Phosphate prices were lower with DAP off $4.899 and MAP $1.80 lower on the week.
  • Kansas urged DAP lower falling a corrective $49.60 as Illinois fell $4.13 with other states unchanged.
  • MAP favored a more mixed tone with Kansas leading declines once again, falling $27.70 as North Dakota dropped $2.42. Nebraska added $5.51 per short ton and Minnesota firmed $3.02.
  • According to MosaicCo., wholesale DAP and MAP prices firmed at NOLA but held steady in other U.S. locations in the week ended September 13.
  • Book 50% of expected fall and spring phosphate needs at current prices and be prepared to fill remaining needs on signs retail phosphates have bottomed.


  • Potash softened slightly on the week with Kansas off $7.92 and Illinois softening $1.98.
  • According to MosaicCo., wholesale potash prices ran sideways at NOLA and were softer elsewhere.
  • We have not yet advised booking potash for fall or spring, but as you are talking with your preferred retailer about phosphate, mention potash as well and see what comes of that.
  • Respective to anhydrous ammonia, on an indexed basis, potash remains overpriced..

Corn Futures

  • December 2019 corn futures closed Friday September 6 at $3.96 putting expected new-crop revenue (eNCR) at $652.96 per acre -- down 14.08 on the week.
  • With our Nutrient Composite Index (NCI) at 583.66 this week, the eNCR/NCI spread narrowed 12.08 points and now stands at -69.30.
Current Week
-24 cents
-4 cents
-21 cents

nutrient composite index

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