22 May 2001 16:33 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Europe's largest producer of polypropylene (PP), Basell, is to increase its prices for the second time this year because of poor profit margins.
Basell, which is a joint venture between Anglo-Dutch group Shell and Germany's BASF, said Tuesday it would increase prices for Moplen and Novolen grades by up to Euro50/tonne from 1 June.
In March, the company raised its prices for Moplen and Novolen PP products by DM0.10-0.15/kilogram (Euro45-Euro67/tonne), an increase of around 7%-7.5%. Before the March increase Basell's prices for PP were DM1.55-1.60/kilogram for Raffia homopolymer, DM1.60-1.65 for injection and DM1.68-1.75 for standard copolymer.
Thomas Fichter, Basell senior vice president for European PP sales and marketing, said the price increase was necessary because PP margins "remain at unsatisfactory levels".
"We were not able to achieve target prices in all sectors of our business during May," he added.
Basell has sold several plants and mothballed others because of the overcapacity in the industry. It idled plants in Wesseling, Germany; Carrington, UK; and Bayport, Texas. It restarted Carrington in early May to ensure a continuous supply of PP during planned maintenance shutdowns at other plants and "not because of an improvement in PP market in Europe", said Fichter.
Basell continues to review its PP assets "to assess their viability especially in these difficult market conditions", he said.
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