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June 23, 2008

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Pricing: DuPont, Bayer, A. Schulman announce increases

The stream of price-increase announcements continues unabated, with DuPont Engineering Polymers (Wilmington, DE), Bayer MaterialScience (Leverkusen, Germany), and A. Schulman (Akron, OH) lifting prices on everything from polymers to polyurethane precursors to masterbatches. DuPont said that as of July 1, or as contracts allow, it would lift the price for its Delrin acetal by $0.10/lb and polyester products by $0.15/lb, with some specialty materials, like Zenite liquid crystal polymer to increase as well. DuPont said it has implemented cost-cutting measures and consolidated global operations to counter increased raw-material costs, but that the increases are needed due to “extraordinary escalation in costs for raw materials derived from oil and natural gas, as well as continued acceleration of energy, transportation, and logistics costs.”

On the same day as DuPont’s announcement, Bayer MaterialScience said it would raise prices for polymeric and monomeric methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and MDI derivatives in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region by euro 0.08/kg. Bayer said the move will not affect existing contracts and also cited the “continuing increase of energy and raw material costs.”

One day after these announcement, custom compounder A. Schulman said it would increase prices up to 20% on its North American Masterbatch and Engineered Plastics divisions, effective June 16 and July 1, or as contracts allow. A. Schulman also said that it had undertaken productivity improvements and revamped its global purchasing and supply chain processes to reduce costs, but that “rapid, significant, and sustained increases in key raw material, energy, logistical and other associated costs” left it few options.—[email protected]

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