By the time all was said and done in January, all nutrient pricing had fallen. Farm diesel and LP both had spent the few weeks prior to the first of the year in decline along with the Inputs Monitor Composite. But the transition from January to February was not kind to regional inputs prices. Only two of ten prices fell that week -- DAP and K -- while everything else, from Ruby Red and NH3 to the Monitor Index Composite rallied.
A previous Inputs Monitor analysis from this week had this to say, "While I am hesitant to call this a 'buy window' -- because prices are still high -- trends suggest that nutrient may have found its low. Tight ammonia supplies, river transport difficulties, escalating projected corn revenue, high expected springtime N demand and South American weather uncertainty have all converged to drive nutrient pricing higher. These gains are not likely to fade this close to the spring application season." (click here for the full 'Nutrient Pricing Takes a Bounce' analysis)
N&P prices remain high on stressed natural gas supply from North Africa -- notably Egypt. But with Trinidad and Tobago approaching normal ammonia production levels after seasonal maintenance and turnarounds, ammonia stocks may loosen in the coming weeks, possibly softening feedstocks for Anhydrous and UAN and Phosphates.
The Month-over numbers look like this...
Anhydrous $2.51 lower month-over to $879.16; UAN28 adds $1.92 to $377.25; UAN32 jumps $4.71 to $422.38 and Urea trails after a choppy up-and-down month to finish $1.08 lower at $563.75.
DAP sheds $7.59 month over after three weeks of solid declines to $638.83; MAP $3.42 higher to $660.50.
Potash found $4.75 in the downside -- lower month-over at $584.42.
Farm Diesel had been trending lower since the end of October and found its first rally during the last week of January dropping $0.067 all told to $3.432 -- but a rally late in the last week of January pressed week-over prices $0.011 higher.
LP followed Farm Diesel to the low for much of the same period and, like Ruby Red, found an upward draft in the last week of January. LP eliminated the entire month's losses by rallying $0.001 -- just enough to post a .06% gain to enter February at 1.442.
A little bit more math on January's numbers demonstrates why I feel it may be time to book a portion of spring Nitrogen now.
Week-to-week the Inputs Monitor Weekly Index Composite fell until the last week of January when it added $1.38. When individual gains vs declines are added up, the entire month has gainers adding $10.05 and decliners shedding $15.99. The week prior -- week ended January 28-- gainers added just $1.50 while declines tallied $19.88 in savings.
In other words, nutrient pricing took a bounce during the last week of January that suggests the seasonal low may have exhausted its room to the downside. Again, this close to spring application, prices are not likely to give much based on increased expected planted corn acres and anticipation of high springtime N demand.