Saflex raises PVB sheet prices

Saflex(R), a unit of Solutia Inc., announced that effective 1 May 2008, it will begin implementing price increases of up to 40% on its Saflex PVB sheet products (depending on grade and location) to ad…

Saflex(R), a unit of Solutia Inc., announced that effective 1 May 2008, it will begin implementing price increases of up to 40% on its Saflex PVB sheet products (depending on grade and location) to address dramatically rising raw material, energy and transportation costs. Luc De Temmerman, senior vice president of Solutia Inc. and president of the Saflex business, made the announcement in light of further upward movement in raw material costs and increasing tightness in the supply of critical chemical feedstocks. “Industry forecasts in late 2007 did not predict cost increases of this magnitude, 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”, said Mr. De Temmerman. 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. Higher energy prices have also increased chemical manufacturing costs and driven up the cost of transportation. In addition, shortages of key raw materials for PVB resin have exacerbated the situation. Saflex has been investing heavily to meet growth in demand for its PVB sheet. It has built 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.