P&KToday: P&K Prices Soften

October 23, 2015 12:26 PM


Potash and phosphate softened on the week.

  • 10232015PotashDAP $47.11 below year-ago pricing -- lower $1.62/st on the week to $533.61/st.
  • MAP $36.51 below year-ago -- lower $4.54/st this week to $564.71/st.
  • Potash $51.10 below year-ago -- lower $3.48/st this week to $427.75/st.
  • The average cash corn price figured in to P&K this week is $3.90.
  • The national average corn basis firmed 6 1/2 cents from last week to 9 3/4 cents below December futures. The national average cash corn price firmed 8 1/4 cents from last week to $3.70 1/2. Basis is in line with the three-year average, which is 10 cents below futures for this week.

Potash and phosphate prices continued lower this week, and potash producers are nervous that the global potash supply overhang will force prices lower, especially given weak U.S. grain fundamentals. China and India are appealing to global suppliers once again for a cut in their contracted potash price, but many believe sellers will not lower prices and may, in fact hold out for higher prices to the two leading potash import nations. Meanwhile, shares in German potash producer K S fell as hefty global potash stocks weigh on prices. PotashCorp had been bidding to purchase K S but has been rebuffed.

10232015PhosphateI talked to a framer the other day who had been out collecting fertilizer bids from a few local retailers and the offered potash price was such that he could apply as much potash as his soil might need at a price that would fit easily into the production budget. I recommend that, while major importers are looking for discounts, you gather up some bids from your area on potash. The prices set by sellers to China and India will set the price floor for U.S. purveyors, and if exporters have their way, the price will be at or above current levels. That will add some potential support to retail prices here, although since demand projections are dire at best, it is unlikely that retailers will price potash out of reach for farmers.

Declines in phosphate may also bring buyers to market here in the U.S., but as harvest hedge pressure on corn and beans wanes, grain prices may firm and take fertilizer prices with them. Last year phosphate prices dipped through the first of the year and firmed for spring fieldwork. We expect the same scenario to play out this year, but phosphate has yet to establish a confirmed price low.

I would be a buyer of potash below $400 per short ton and DAP between $500 and $515.


By the Pound --

DAP is priced at 56 1/4 cents/lbP2O5; MAP at 53 1/2 cents/lbP2O5; Potash is at 35 3/4 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 October 16, 2015.

P&K pricing by the pound -- 10/23/2015

DAP $P/lb

MAP $P/lb
Potash $K/lb
$0.56 1/4
$0.53 1/2
$0.35 3/4
$0.39 3/4