OMAHA (DTN) -- Once again retail fertilizer prices have moved lower, according to DTN's weekly survey of fertilizer retailers nationwide. DTN's national average potash prices are running 19% below year-ago levels and are approaching a five-year low. (DTN chart) All eight of the major fertilizers registered considerably lower prices compared to the same period last month. For the second week of October, urea plunged 9% compared to last month while potash was down 8%; DAP, 10-34-0 and UAN28 were all down 7%. Urea had average price of $442/ton, potash $493/ton, DAP $524/ton, 10-34-0 $523/ton and UAN28 $323/ton. Potash is now only $24/ton away from its five-year low of $469/ton made the fifth week of Aug. 2010, according to DTN records. A year ago it sold for a national average of $618/ton. Anhydrous and UAN32 were down 6% compared to last month while MAP was 5% lower. Anhydrous had an average price of $654/ton, UAN32 $369/ton and MAP $567/ton. On a price per pound of nitrogen basis, the average urea price was at $0.48/lb.N, anhydrous $0.40/lb.N, UAN28 $0.58/lb.N and UAN32 $0.58/lb.N. As one might expect, lower retail fertilizer prices have farmers holding off on purchases. Pre-order too soon and you may miss out on lower prices still to come, their thinking goes. However, if you wait too long prices could turn around and climb higher. The good news is prices are certainly not rising. The rapidly approaching fall fertilizer applications season is getting closer, which may cause some farmers to pull the trigger soon on purchasing fertilizer. Bob Birdsell, a farmer from Stanberry, Mo., told DTN that lower fertilizer prices have not changed his plan on his fall fertilizer needs. "We buy as needed," Birdsell said. Pete Bardole, a farmer from Jefferson, Iowa, said while he has not purchased any of his fertilizer needs yet, this plan may be changing. "We could make some purchases soon," Bardole said. Phil Carter, a farmer from New Era, Mich., does not apply fall fertilizer. Late harvest in his region and sandy soils which cannot hold nutrients throughout the winter months do not allow for application in the period right after harvest. Despite this fact, he is keeping a close eye on retail fertilizer prices. "If I pre-buy fertilizer it normally isn't until January or February but I am seriously considering it (earlier) and I am watching prices closely," Carter said. All eight of the major fertilizers are now double digits lower in price compared to October of 2012. UAN32 is now down 13%; MAP, 10-34-0 and UAN28 are 15% less expensive; DAP is 16% lower; potash is 19% less expensive; anhydrous is 23% lower and urea is 25% less expensive compared to last year.
Via Stéphane Bisaillon