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Most Fertilizer Prices Now Higher

By Russ Quinn

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For the first time in several months, more retail fertilizer prices were higher than lower than the previous month, according to sellers surveyed by DTN.

During the third week of February 2024, prices for five of the eight major fertilizers were higher than last month, while prices for the remaining three fertilizers were lower. For the fourth straight week, however, no fertilizer saw a significant price move, which DTN designates as anything 5% or more.

The fertilizers that were higher in price included DAP, with an average price of $739 per ton, 10-34-0 $610/ton, anhydrous $771/ton, UAN28 $336/ton and UAN32 $392/ton.

The three fertilizers that were just slightly lower in price from last month were MAP with an average price of $809/ton, potash $504/ton and urea $529/ton.

On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.57/lb.N, anhydrous $0.47/lb.N, UAN28 $0.60/lb.N and UAN32 $0.61/lb.N.

The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) recently expressed some alarm with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) lowering of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter, according to a TFI news release. This change will lead to permitting gridlock across much of the country, negatively affecting economic growth and fertilizer production, TFI contends.

The particulate matter NAAQS significantly curtailed air pollution nationwide, but a major challenge for industries arises as those levels are progressively lowered. Despite ongoing technological improvements, industries reach a threshold where additional air quality improvements become more and more unfeasible under stricter standards, especially as 84% of current PM2.5 emissions originate from nonindustrial sources, according to TFI.

"At a time when the need to strengthen the domestic fertilizer industry has been made clear by multiple ongoing global crises and echoed by the Biden administration, now is not the time to hamstring fertilizer production by making new production facilities or the expansion of existing production more difficult or, in some instances, impossible," TFI President and CEO Corey Rosenbusch stated in the news release.

All fertilizers except one are now lower by double digits compared to one year ago. MAP is 6% lower, DAP is 12% less expensive, 10-34-0 is 19% lower, urea is 23% less expensive, potash is 27% lower, UAN28 is 31% less expensive, UAN32 are 32% lower and anhydrous is 37% lower compared to a year prior.

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