The Vesuvius Group has announced plans to increase prices in
January 2005 by at least 5 percent.
"[For] months now, we have been facing continuous price
increases in raw materials," said Giancarlo Cozzani, Vesuvius
chief executive officer. "As an example, the cost for refractory
bauxite has doubled in the past few months, and that for graphite
by more than 50 percent. The beginning of 2004 has seen the set
up of a Chinese magnesia cartel, and, as a result, the cost of
magnesia has risen nearly 100 percent. More recently raw materials
of Western origin, such as alumina and zirconia products, have
increased by double- digit percentages. In addition, we have been
facing price moves in oil, energy and transportation. We can no
longer bear these increases without passing [on] to our customers
the part we cannot compensate with improved manufacturing efficiencies."
According to the company's announcement, the steel industry,
Vesuvius' primary business, will be the main sector affected.
However, its cement and lime, ceramic, foundry, aluminum and glass
industries will be impacted as well.