Fertilizers Post Mild Price Movement

Posted on 03/18/2020 12:37 PM


Coronavirus has the attention of the nation and the world. Supply chain disruptions, transport delays and other snags may well become the norm as the impacts of the disease reveal themselves. Some farmers have pondered taking delivery of spring fertilizer needs now rather than waiting to collect supplies hand-to-mouth. If that is possible for you, I would recommend you do so to ensure you have adequate supplies on hand when the timing works out for you. Many do not have that option however.

Thus far, all indications are that suppliers have been able to refill their stocks on site, and there is no indication of a supply shortfall. We advise prudence over panic, and it is wise you get in touch with your preferred retailer to feel out the supply situation in your area and act accordingly.

At present, subscribers should be 50% filled on spring/summer nitrogen and 100% filled on spring phosphates. We have not yet booked spring potash as there is little indication of a pending price spike or supply shortfall. However, regional potash prices have not fallen significantly recently suggesting vitamin K was the first of our nutrients to reach fair value. Upside risk is the greatest for phosphates and urea. Anhydrous ammonia is set to firm seasonally, but the industrial slowdown in China and elsewhere will likely lead to an abundance of raw ammonia on the open market in the weeks to come. We are willing to wait and see on anhydrous and UAN for the moment as long as you already have 50% of expected N needs covered for spring/summer applications.

On another note, please allow your editor to suggest you do your best to keep a cool head, limit unnecessary travel and help guard against the spread of the coronavirus with due diligence. This is an unprecedented disruption for the modern world, and once we reach the other side of this pandemic, people around the world will be counting on farmers to help restock shelves and keep food, feed and farm products readily available. You must do your best to stay well both physically and mentally, as must we all. We will get through this, and there are mouths to feed and supply chains to refill on the other side. Be well, there are better days ahead. -- D

  • Fertilizer prices were mixed on the week, posting small moves in either direction.nitrogen indices chart
  • Our Nutrient Composite Index (NCI) softened 0.65 points to 530.25, which compares to our five-year average for this week of 615.74.


  • Nitrogen prices were led higher by anhydrous ammonia which firmed only slightly on the week.
  • North Dakota NH3 led to the upside firming $17.10 as Nebraska added $4.29 per short ton. Michigan fell $1.78 and Illinois softened 90 cents.
  • UAN32% is unchanged this week although Nebraska firmed $2.49 as Iowa added $1.55. Indiana 32% fell $3.23 and Illinois softened 53 cents.
  • UAN28% led declines in the nitrogen segment. Ohio softened $14.78 and Michigan slipped $1.22. Iowa firmed $1.64 and Nebraska gained 90 cents per short ton.
  • Urea was lower as well with Iowa down a massive $30.40 and Kansas off a dime. North Dakota firmed $8.93 and Nebraska added $7.55.p and k indices chart


  • Phosphates were mixed on the week but little changed.
  • DAP was slightly higher with Michigan up $3.74 and Indiana 76 cents higher. Illinois led DAP declines falling $1.59 as Minnesota softened 12 cents per short ton.
  • MAP fell gingerly with Minnesota down $4.04 and Ohio off $1.53. North Dakota added $1.74 and Indiana gained 73 cents per short ton.
  • According to MosaicCo., in the week ended March 13, DAP prices were mixed and MAP prices fell at U.S. terminals.


  • Potash fell 69 cents regionally with Minnesota down $3.81 and Ohio off $2.12 on the week. North Dakota firmed 99 cents on the week, our only potash price increase.
  • According to MosaicCo., during the report week, wholesale potash prices ran sideways at NOLA and softened in the corn Belt.
  • Potash remains priced in-line with our Nutrient Composite Index when considered on an indexed basis, indicating $530 is likely a near term point of resistance for NH3.

Corn Futures

  • December 2020 corn futures closed Friday March 13 at $3.73 putting expected new-crop revenue (eNCR) at $612.48 per acre.
  • With our Nutrient Composite Index (NCI) at 530.25 this week, the eNCR/NCI spread narrowed 13.43 points and stands at -82.23.
Current Week
+25 cents
-41 cents
-69 cents
-79 cents

nutrient composite index chart

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