US RPM exec sees signs of raw material costs stabilising

05 January 2012 18:52  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The top executive at US-based RPM said on Thursday that recent declines in some raw material prices made him hopeful that feedstocks were stabilising.

Frank Sullivan, chief executive of the sealants and building materials maker, said recent declines in resin and solvent prices made him optimistic that feedstock values were levelling off.

Sullivan added that producers of most of the feedstocks RPM depends on have not hinted that any significant price hikes were coming.

“They’re not signalling that and we don’t see it, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen,” Sullivan said. “We’re more hopeful than we’ve been for awhile.”

However, Sullivan said TiO2 remains the one raw material with costs that have been hard to manage.

Some analysts have predicted higher TiO2 prices this year because of huge increases expected in titanium ore (rutile), which is a feedstock for TiO2.

Sullivan said TiO2 price increases have been particularly hard to pass through to its Rust-Oleum specialty coatings customers.

“That’s been the raw material that has been the most frustratingly high for Rust-Oleum and for the industry,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan made the comments in an earnings conference call, following RPM’s report of fiscal 2012 second-quarter net income rising slightly to $49.9m (€38.4m) from $48.8m in the same period a year ago.

($1 = €0.77)

For more on RPM International and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence


By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653



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