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Inputs Monitor Regional Index: Nutrient Continues Higher

April 14, 2014
By: Davis Michaelsen, Pro Farmer Inputs Monitor Editor


Declines tallied 15 cents to gains' $22.45 in the regional averages. All nutrient moved higher again this week while farm diesel leveled off and LP fell again. It feels like anhydrous is late to the party as UAN solutions and urea slowed their uptrend this week to a pocket full of nickels. Meanwhile, anhydrous adds another nine dollars to the regional average price.

Potash is giving us little to worry about and high inventories are expected to freeze K prices in place. Meanwhile, phosphate continues to move strongly higher with DAP/MAP adding a combined $11.84 per ton. Much of that is due to increases in wholesale ammonia for feedstock, but shipping delays and better-than-expected demand across the Midwest are also injecting premium into phosphate.

Looking ahead, short-term fertilizer prices will be mixed with the most upside risk currently in phosphate. Anhydrous is clearly pointed higher as well, but word has surfaced that Chinese urea prices are being tendered below $300.00/tonne suggesting another price slide later this summer for urea. That could easily moderate UAN pricing, which is on our radar for later on, and if early rains prohibit fieldwork or flush N, UAN demand will increase for sidedress. Lower urea values may help suppress upside price risk for UAN.



Farm diesel moved sideways on the week at $3.47 -- May '14 WTI opens today at $103.56 -- $2.65 higher on the week; April heating oil at $2.93 -- up three cents on the week. We expect the downtrend to continue for another few weeks on farm diesel, although this week's pause may be the spring price point we have anticipated.

LP moved lower again this week, falling 7 cents -- May '14 natural gas opened today at $4.62, eighteen cents higher than the same time last week.

Corn Futures --

December 14 corn futures closed Friday at $4.99 -- that's 7 3/4 cents below the previous Friday's close, putting expected new-crop revenue $12.40/acre softer on the week at $758.40. With anhydrous priced at $691.50 this week, the ZCZ/NH3 spread narrowed 21.51 points and now lies at -66.90. The expectation is for this number to one day shrink to zero, aligning anhydrous ammonia prices with expected new-crop revenue.


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