Chemical Prices Still Rising


It may be a new year but it still looks like 2005 to those paying bills for chemicals used in the manufacture of lubricants. Prices continue to rise as they did throughout last year, with markups right out of the gates by Dow Chemical Co., Chemtura Corp. and Southern Clay Products Inc.

Dow imposed a 10 percent worldwide hike Sunday on its entire line of biocides, including those used in metalworking machine lubricants. The Midland, Mich., chemical giant blamed the increases on the costs of bringing effective products to market.

In a challenging regulatory and environmental health and safety intensive industry, this price increase supports our reinvestments in regulatory data, registrations and increasing our capacity to meet the growing demand for Dow Biocides products, said Mark Henning, general manager for Dow Biocides.

On the same day, Chemtura upped its global price for delivered bulk elemental bromine to $2,500 per metric ton. Among its applications, bromine is used to make flame retardant additives used in lubricants such as fire-resistant hydraulic fluids. Chemtura is headquartered in Middlebury, Conn.

Southern Clay said Thursday that it will raise organoclay additive prices in North America by an average of 7 percent, effective Jan. 15. The list of materials includes organically modified clays sold under the Claytone brand to impart rheological characteristics in greases, oil well drilling fluids and other applications.

The Gonzales, Texas, supplier of smectite-based functional additives attributed its action to higher costs for energy and oil products – the culprits cited for most chemical price hikes last year.

Rapidly escalating energy, raw material and freight costs have impacted us all, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Donald Poucher said.

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