Three Hike Chemical Prices


Texas Petrochemicals raised prices for its polyisobutylenes used in lubricant and fuel additives, Dow hiked prices for its oxygenated solvents, and Kraton Polymers announced price increases for polymers used in lubricants.

Houston-based Texas Petrochemicals last week announced that effective Sept. 1, it would raise polyisobutylene prices by up to 12 percent, depending on grade, and adjust off-list pricing as contracts allow. The company cited a recent rapid increase in isobutene feedstock and natural gas costs as factors driving the increase.

PIBs are used as base stocks in lubricants – sometimes as an alternative to bright stock – and as a component in metal forming fluids, gear oils, greases and two-cycle oils. They also find use in other applications such as caulks, sealants, adhesives and rubber.

The sustained high prices for hydrocarbon based raw materials continue to adversely impact our business, requiring TPC to implement an increase at this time, said Sandra Davis, vice president and general manager for performance products. We are focused on maintaining a viable PIB business that can supply our customers over the long term. TPC plans to begin commissioning its new plant in August and expects to start up in the fourth quarter, effectively doubling the capacity once on-line.

The company first entered the PIB market in May 2000 with startup of its patented process to produce a wide range of PIB products.

Midland, Mich.-based Dow on Friday said it would raise list and off-list prices by 3 to 15 cents per pound on a number of its oxygenated solvents in North America effective Sept. 1, or as contracts allow. The company attributed the increase primarily to continued escalation in raw material costs.

Our prices continue to lag the dramatic increase in raw material costs making this increase very necessary, said Martin Sutcliffe, Dows global business director, glycol ethers. Raw material price volatility and security of supply remain a key concern.

The fundamental challenge of high and volatile raw material costs is something we have been managing for the last three years, said Carol Miller, Dows global business director, solvents and intermediates. The entire value chain is having to address these challenges.

Houston-based Kraton on Aug. 8 announced that effective Sept. 1, it will implement a general price increase of at least 210 (U.S. $328) per metric ton in Europe, Africa and the Middle East on its SBS, O/E SBS, SIS and SIBS polymers and compounds

In North America, Kraton announced that effective Sept. 1, prices will increase $330/mt (or 15 cents per pound) on its entire SBC portfolio. Its HSBC portfolio – including SEBS, SEPS and derivative compounds – will also increase in price by the same amount effective Sept. 1.

Kratons polymers are used in lubricants and other applications ranging from personal care to paving. The company has production facilities in the United States, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Brazil and Japan.

New quarterly, record prices are being set for our primary raw materials, and we are obliged to implement further price increases, Kraton said.

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