Reichhold to increase prices

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. - Resins supplier and manufacturer Reichhold will increase prices $ 0.03 per pound on all isophthalic acid-based resins sold to the composites industry in North America, the company said earlier this week.

The increase is effective for all orders shipped on or after May 1.

Bill Schramm, Reichhold's director of Business Management, said the increase was caused by sharp spikes in cost and limited supply of isophthalic acid. He said the reduced availability of the acid was set into motion following Hurricane Rita which forced the closure of a major refinery, BP Amoco Chemical Company Texas City, which supplies a basic component of isophthalic acid, metaxylene, to U.S. producers of isophthalic acid.

“Flint Hills, which produces a significant portion of the isophthalic acid sold in North America, had been importing both metaxylene and finished isophthalic acid from Europe since Hurricane Rita, but those safety stocks are no longer viable, pushing isophthalic supply into a short position,” Schramm said. “As a result, Flint Hills has declared Force Majeure and has notified customers that sales of this product are being put on allocation. This has also resulted in price increases for finished isophthalic acid.”

Isophthalic acid is an intermediate for certain high-quality unsaturated polyester resins, providing good structural properties, corrosion resistance and weatherability in finished resins, according to Reichhold.

Schramm said the company's supply chain team is working “vigorously” to ensure that all customers of isophthalic acid-based resins will receive continuous supply during this allocation period.

“We deeply appreciate our customers' continued support as we are all impacted by these rising costs and supply issues,” Schramm said.

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