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Saflex increases PVB price

Post Time:Nov 12,2013Classify:Industry NewsView:60

Officials at Saflex, a unit of Solutia Inc. of St. Louis, Mo., announced April 8 price increases of up to 40 percent on its Saflex polyvinyl butyral sheet products, depending on grade and location. The price hike, a result of rising raw material, energy and transportation costs, will be implemented effective May 1, according to a company release. “As in many industries, pent up pressure from petrochemical-based raw materials is working its way through the glazing value chain,” says Tim Feast, vice president, Business Management, Saflex. “The industry needs to recognize that these are significant cost pressures that cannot be absorbed upstream. Therefore, pricing all the way downstream needs to reflect the new realities of a world where in the last six months the price of oil has gone up more than 35 percent and natural gas more than 60 percent.” Industry forecasts in late 2007 did not predict cost increases of this magnitude, said Luc De Temmerman, senior vice president of Solutia Inc. and president of the Saflex “and we are now at a point where sourcing raw materials at continuously higher prices makes no sense for our business unless the effects are passed on," in the release. Dramatic increases in the price of oil, which occurred since Saflex PVB sheet contract prices were set during late 2007, have resulted in significantly higher prices for chemical feedstock raw materials. “It seems that PVB is relatively tight at the moment,” Feast says. “This is a key reason why Saflex continues to make significant capacity investments around the world, to help our customers meet their growing demand. However, these investments only make sense if the increased raw material costs we are incurring can be reflected in market prices.” Higher energy prices also have increased chemical manufacturing costs and driven up the cost of transportation. Saflex has been investing heavily to meet growth in demand for its PVB sheet, according to the release. It has constructed a new PVB sheet production facility in Suzhou, China; added capability at its PVB sheet production facility in Santo Toribio, Mexico; and is close to completing a major new PVB sheet production line at its facility in Ghent, Belgium. Saflex has also been adding capacity for PVB resin, the key raw material for PVB sheet, in the United States and Europe to meet this new demand. Saflex, DuPont of Wilmington, Del.; Sekisui Chemical Co. of Japan; and Kuruary Co. of Malaysia are the four large producers of PVB in the world. —By Sahely Mukerji, managing editor, Glass Magazine and AutoGlass

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