Graphs presented here show monthly fertilizer prices beginning in the fall prior to planting through spring and summer. From fall 2008 though summer 2011, prices generally decreased from fall through spring. This decreasing pattern exists primarily because of the dramatic price decreases occurring in 2008-2009. Comparing price patterns across all three years does not suggest a predictable pattern between fall and spring prices.

Figure 1: monthly prices for anhydrous ammonia. Over the three complete planning periods (2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11), anhydrous ammonia price averaged $742/ton in the fall (October, November and December) and $676/ton in the spring (February, March and April), resulting in an average decline of $66/ton. Price changes varied across the three years:

  • 2008-2009 had a $338 decrease ($1,044/ton fall price and a $705/ton spring price)
  • 2009-10 had an $83 increase ($447/ton fall price and a $530/ton spring price)
  • 2010-2011 had a $56 increase ($735/ton fall price and a $791/ton spring price)

 

Figure 2: monthly prices for diammonium phosphate (DAP). Over the three complete years, DAP prices average $692/ton in fall (October, November and December) and $587/ton in spring (February, March and April), resulting in an average decrease of $105/ton. Again, price changes varied across the three years:

  • 2008-2009 had a $443 decrease ($1,033/ton fall price and a $590/ton spring price)
  • 2009-2010 has a $101 increase ($389/ton in fall price and a $490/ton spring price)
  • 2010-2011 had a $29 increase ($653/ton in fall price and a $682/ton spring price)

 

Figure 3: monthly prices for potash. Over the three complete years, potash prices averaged $666 in the fall (October, November and December) and $634 in spring (February, March and April), yielding a decline over the three years that averaged $32/ton. Again, price changes varied across the three years:

  • 2008-2009 had a $79 decrease ($911/ton fall price and a $832/ton spring price)
  • 2009-2010 has a $71 decrease ($554/ton fall price and a $483/ton spring price)
  • 2010-2011 had a $55 increase ($532/ton fall price and a $587/ton spring price)

 

Some years, prices decline between fall and spring and other years prices increase. Overall, these patterns do not suggest predictable seasonal patterns. Hence, recent price patterns do not suggest one time period is better for purchasing fertilizer than another period. Evaluating prices over a longer time-period might change implications.

 

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