31 March 2000 10:27 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--German specialty chemicals company Degussa-Huls announced on Friday yet another increase in European rubber blacks prices - the fourth rise in the last five months.
It said prices for its range of rubber blacks in Europe would go up by an average of Euro25 a tonne from 1 May. Last month Degussa announced a Euro22/tonne rise which was planned to take effect on 15 March.
However, competitive pressure has forced Degussa reduce the rise to about Euro17.6/tonne and delay implementation until this week, according to Dietmar Balschukat, executive vice-president and general manager for carbon black sales. He told CNI that the 1 May increase varied between 3.5% and 6% depending upon grade.
Degussa, which claims to be the world's second-largest carbon black manufacturer, has been raising rubber blacks prices in an attempt to recover increases in carbon black feedstock costs.
In common with most other carbon blacks manufacturers, Degussa-Huls has seen its profit margins squeezed by rising feedstock costs. The 1 May rise, even if accepted in full by its customers, is thought unlikely to fully recover the higher cost of feedstock. However, if this week's agreement by Opec oil producers to increase output succeeds in reducing crude oil prices, it should ease the pressure on feedstock costs, according to Balschukat.
"But our prices rises are still lagging behind feedstock cost increases," he explained. Balschukat added that the rubber blacks market was still highly competitive, making price rises difficult to implement in full.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections