Vesuvius Announces Plans to Increase Prices

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.

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