Chemical Prices Still Upward Bound


Crude oil costs may have slipped in recent weeks, but chemical companies are still passing on price increases for materials used to make greases, hydraulic fluids and other lubricants. FMC Lithium, BASF and Crompton Corp.s Petroleum Additives business are among the latest to impose markups.

FMC Lithium said Aug. 27 that its prices for lithium hydroxide will go up 7 percent on Oct. 1. Lithium hydroxide is used in the production of complex lithium greases and other products. The company, which is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., blamed the action on higher costs for raw materials, energy and freight. Natural gas costs have tripled in the past year, it said, while freight costs are up 15 percent.

BASF Corp. said Sept. 1 that it will raise North American prices on several types of functional fluids by 4 cents and 5 cents per pound, effective Oct. 1. The half-dozen products affected are marketed under the Plurasafe brand name and contain monoethylene, diethylene or propylene glycol. The company, a Mount Olive, N.J.-based subsidiary of Germanys BASF AG, attributed the markups to higher costs for these raw materials.

The Plurasafe products are used in industrial, fire-resistant and food-safe hydraulic fluids and in heat transfer fluids. BASF raised prices on the same products in May.

Cromptons Petroleum Additives business said it will increase prices on all sulfonate products by up to 8 cents per pound, effective Sept. 15 or as contracts allow. Affected products include sulfonates made from calcium, sodium and barium that are sold under several brand names. Crompton said the hikes are due to higher costs for energy, crude oil and other raw materials derived from petroleum.

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