FERTILIZER MARKET VOLATILITY
by: John Sandmeyer, Seed, Crop Protection & Nutrients Products Director
We have witnessed extreme fertilizer market volatility over the past year, with big swings up and down. I’m sure you’ve wondered: “Will the markets ever straighten out?”
Twenty years ago, $20 per ton was a big change in the market. Now, we see swings of several hundred dollars per ton in one season. This past year, we saw a difference of $573 per ton from high to low on anhydrous ammonia (NH3). Other fertilizer products took similar swings.
This is where we need your help in figuring out what products you need and when you need to purchase them. We spend a lot of time forecasting in an effort to make good purchasing decisions. But with volatile markets, we need more information on how much to buy and when we should make those purchases.
That’s why we’re asking you, our grower-owners, to do some planning, ahead of 2023, to help with those decisions. It is important that you make us aware of your purchasing plans. It helps us have product available at the best possible prices when you need it.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN?
Do we see some softening in the market? Yes we do, but you never know when we will see the market bottom out and swing the other way. This is why we try to buy product in layers. It minimizes the risk of purchasing everything at once and missing the best markets.
We look at the purchase history of our customers over the past years to help determine how many tons to purchase annually. So, if there are dramatic changes in your operation or what you plan to apply in a certain season, please let us know. The planning stage is very important to help determine those swings. We don’t want to purchase too much or run out either.
Talk to your account manager before the season starts to firm up your plans and help us make sure we have the fertilizer you need in the shed or in the tank, at the best possible price.
FUNGICIDE MAY BE SHORT
Although better than last year, inventories of fungicides in general will be fairly tight. Several products are on allocation and will be harder to get. For instance, Veltyma® and Revytek® from BASF are both superior products, but both have been allocated, and NuWay-K&H Cooperative will have only limited inventories. Bayer’s fungicide Delaro® Complete has also been allocated, and we will have very little available.
On the bright side, we have fairly decent inventories of Syngenta’s Miravis® Neo and that fungicide is still available to order. However, local concerns about tar spot and other diseases will reduce the availability of this fungicide as the growing season progresses.
If you wait to purchase until you actually need the fungicide, you may not be able to get what you want. Please talk to your account manager today if you think you will be needing a fungicide.
Learn more about our crop protection and nutrients products here.