P&K Today: Phosphate Moves Higher as Study Questions MOP

November 14, 2013 06:10 AM
 

P&K retail prices were mixed on the week with DAP and MAP moving higher as potash fell. A band of snowfall moved across the Midwest early this week and threatened to slow harvest. But the sunshine returned in earnest and soil temperatures are falling in line with the seasonal cooldown. Buyers remain cautious, but any delays to purchases at this point are likely because growers are too busy farming to make the call and pull the trigger on fall applications. We expect P&K applications to increase over the next week or so and as Thanksgiving bears down, one grower commented he's on borrowed time.DSC 0008

"I'd like to be a little further along but with the weather and all things considered, we are yielding real good compared to last year. I'll have that last 50 acres done in the next day or two, and hopefully, the weather holds out so I can put down fertilizer and get to the deer stand," noted a Butler County, IA grower. Meanwhile, the scent of honeywagon is rich in the air here in my backyard as the timing and soil conditions are just right to supplement commercial fertilizer applications with a little pit manure.

The University of Illinois has released research findings that suggest potash applications containing chloride may not be as beneficial as once thought. The research suggests a shift from KCI/MOP -- potassium chloride -- to SOP which contains sulfur rather than chloride which may be better not only for nutrient uptake but also soil quality. I heard from a source in New York City storyboxCMPyesterday who says the findings have made their way to Wall Street where potash investment has been in fashion in the past few years. The western hemisphere's largest producer of sulfate of potash (SOP) is Compass Minerals in Utah and they market their SOP as a specialty product, geared mainly toward vegetable growers.

We wrote about this in October. Click here for the Monitor's take. The article includes a link to the paper from S.A.Khan, R.L.Mulvaney and T.R.Ellsworth from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I reminded my colleague from NYC that this is only one paper that makes bold claims about best practices and nutrient efficacy. Growers will need more compelling proof if they are to change from tried and true MOP to specialty product, SOP.

This week --

  • DAP $116.47 below year-ago pricing -- up $6.80 on the week to $530.82/st.
  • MAP $104.97 below year-ago --up $1.16 this week to $560.36/st.
  • Potash $120.44 below-year ago -- down 71 cents this week to $482.47/st.
  • December 2014 corn futures today opened 7 1/2 cents higher than last week at $4.69 with the national average cash corn price 3/4 cents higher from last week at $4.26. Corn basis moved back below futures pricing to stand at 3 3/4 cents below December 13 futures.

 

By the Pound --

DAP 1 cent higher to 55 1/2 cents/lbP2O5; MAP falls 3/4 cents to 52 1/2 cents/lbP2O5; Potash 1 1/4 cent softer on the week at 40 cents/lbK2O.

The following is an updated table of P&K pricing by the pound as reported to your Inputs Monitor for the week ended Nov.8, 2013.

P&K pricing by pound -- 11/14/2013

DAP $P/lb

MAP $P/lb
Potash $K/lb
Iowa
$0.58
$0.53
$0.40
Illinois
$0.55
$0.52
$0.40
Indiana
$0.56
$0.54
$0.39
Wisconsin
$0.54
$0.52
$0.37
Minnesota
$0.57
$0.53
$0.39
South Dakota
$0.55
$0.51
$0.42
North Dakota
$0.52
$0.51
$0.39
Nebraska
$0.51
$0.52
$0.43
Missouri
$0.57
$0.52
$0.40
Kansas
$0.56
$0.54
$0.42
Ohio
$0.53
$0.53
$0.40
Michigan
$0.61
$0.54
$0.38
Average
$0.55 1/2
$0.52 1/2
$0.40
Year-ago
$0.68
$0.62
$0.50

 

Wholesale --

MosaicCo reports wholesale DAP and MAP moved lower across the board softening $2.00 & $3.00/MT at Tampa and Morocco respectively, $8.00 in Central Florida, $1.00 lower at NOLA with MAP $3.00 lower in Brazil. Potash slid sideways again at all locations reported with wholesale granular MOP in the Corn Belt at $384.00/short ton. Raw phosphate rock from Morocco edged another $2.00 lower and Tampa ammonia was unchanged.

The Percentages Year-over --

Potash firmed 0.1% from last week to stand 19.1% below year-ago; DAP retraced 1.8% of the year-on-year differential to 18.0% below year-ago; MAP firmed 1/2 % to 15.7% below last year's price, and anhydrous widened the year-over gap by 0.08% during the week to end at 21.8% below last year's price at this time.

 
Current regional average price/short ton
Percent of year-ago
Potash
$482.47
-19.1%
DAP
$530.82
-18.0%
MAP
$560.36
-15.7%
NH3
$672.74
-21.0%

 


 Photo credit: D. Michaelsen, Inputs Monitor

 

 

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