Dow plans price hike as its energy costs climb

From the Associated Press

Dow Chemical Co. will raise its prices by as much as 20% in a few days to offset the soaring cost of energy, and the chief executive of the chemical giant lashed out at Washington on Wednesday for failing to develop a sound energy policy.

Dow supplies a broad swath of industries, including agriculture and healthcare, and any sizable price jump would probably affect almost all of them.

The price increases will take effect Sunday and will be based on a product's exposure to rising costs. Dow said it spent $8 billion on energy and hydrocarbon-based feedstock, or raw materials, in 2002 and that could climb to $32 billion this year.

"For years, Washington has failed to address the issue of rising energy costs and, as a result, the country now faces a true energy crisis, one that is causing serious harm to America's manufacturing sector and all consumers of energy," Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris said in a statement.

"The government's failure to develop a comprehensive energy policy is causing U.S. industry to lose ground when it comes to global competitiveness, and our own domestic markets are now starting to see demand destruction throughout the U.S."

Liveris said soaring costs for Dow were "forcing difficult discussions with customers."

Midland, Mich.-based Dow makes such things as propylene glycols used in antifreeze, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals as well as producing the key ingredients in paints, textiles, glass and packaging.

Dow shares rose 60 cents to $40.83.

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