Chemical Prices Keep Climbing

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Prices for chemicals used in lubricants continue to rise despite a retreat in crude oil and fuel costs. Albemarle Corp., Dow Chemical Co., BASF and Chemtura imposed markups during the past two weeks, some of which were announced before oil slid to current levels.

Albemarle hiked global prices for polymer antioxidants and polymer additive blends by 15 percent Sunday. The former are marketed under the Ethanox and Ethaphos brand names, the latter under the AlBlend name. The specialty chemical company, which is based in Richmond, Va., said it was simply catching up with increases in its own costs.

This decision comes after multiple months of cost increases in raw materials, packaging materials and shipping, said John McChesney, global business manager for antioxidants. The price increase will help offset some of these challenges, and help us to continue to grow and support our customers.

Dow Chemical Co. raised off-list prices for lubricants and fluids sold under the UCon brand name by up to 4 cents per pound. Prices on Hydrolube concentrates increased 4 cents, as did those on fully formulated hydrolubes and high pressure fluids, LB, HB and H-series base fluids and numerous fully formulated products. TPeg and MPeg products went up 2 cents. Synalox-branded base fluids also increased by 4 cents.

The chemical industry continues to experience unprecedented escalation in raw material feedstock and energy costs, and we must implement these increases in order offset the rising costs to manufacture and transport our products and remain a strong and reliable supplier, UCon Fluids and Lubricants Marketing Manager Pete Pendergast said when the increases were announced in early September.

Chemical giant BASF added as much as 130 per ton to its prices for ethanolamines and ethyleneamines, both of which are used as intermediates in the production of lubricant additives. Effective Sept. 19, prices for monoethanolamines rose by 50, prices for diethanolamines by 60 and prices for triethanolamines by 130. Price tags on ethylenediamine, diethylenetriamine and aminoethylethanolamine all increased by 100.

Ludwigshafen, Germany-based BASF attributed the markups to higher costs and short supply for building blocks ethylene oxide and propylene oxide. The availability situation has raised logistic costs, it said.

Chemtura Corp. on Sunday raised prices for sulfonate detergent and emulsifier product lines by 4 cents per pound, citing rising costs for raw materials. The products are sold under the LoBase, HyBase, Petronate, Surchem and Calcinate monikers. Chemtura is headquartered in Middlebury, Conn.

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