Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dow to Raise Prices Another 25 Percent

Time to get reacquainted with the word "inflation". Where Dow goes, other companies are sure to follow.

Dow Chemical Co. will raise the prices of its products for the second time in a month to deal with the continued high costs of energy and related raw materials.

Shares of Dow and other chemical companies dipped Tuesday following the announcement that it will raise prices by as much as 25 percent next month. That follows price increases of up to 20 percent that took effect June 1.

Midland, Mich.-based Dow makes key ingredients used in paints, textiles, glass, packaging and cars.

Not only that, the are increasing the shipping surcharges (which will be passed along to the consumer) and looking at laying off workers.

As part of the announcement, Dow said it's adding a freight surcharge for North American customers of $300 per shipment by truck and $600 per shipment by rail effective Aug. 1. The company said it will add the surcharges in other regions later this year.

Dow also announced it's moving ahead with plans to temporarily idle or cut production at a number of manufacturing plants. Dow's automotive unit is cutting costs that include workers and plants in light of a North American sales decline.

So, when do we start calling this an official "energy crisis"?

Chairman and Chief Executive Andrew Liveris said in a statement the steps are "extremely unwelcome but entirely unavoidable" as global energy costs surge.

"The price increases we announced May 28 helped, but they were not enough to fully cover the additional costs we are now facing," he said. "Even since our last announcement, the cost of hydrocarbons has continued to rise, and that trajectory shows no sign of changing."

Might want to stock up on a few things before prices go through the roof.