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Mitsui announces price increase

Japans Mitsui Chemicals recently lifted prices for chemicals like ethylene oxide, polyolefins and functional resins starting July 1. The group based its decision on the projection that the price for domestic naphtha for July-September shipments would reach ¥77,000 (US$712) per kiloliter (kl), up from ¥66,700 per kl (US$616) for January-March shipments. While the Mitsui group is prepared to absorb April-June price increases for domestic naphtha, averaging ¥2,300-3,300 per kl (US$21-30) over the preceding three-month period, it intends to have the naphtha price mark-ups properly reflected in its petrochemical product prices beginning in July. Aside from the naphtha-price factor, the Mitsui group will take into consideration higher fuel and utility costs when deciding its new prices. Among other Japanese, Asahi Kasei Chemicals has already decided to raise its polyethylene price by putting the July-September domestic naphtha price at ¥76,000 per kl (US$702). More companies are expected to follow suit. (May 29, 2008)