Oil prices that recently hit their highest price levels in two years have sent a wave of price-hike moves through downstream markets, including resins and other raw materials used in coatings.

A combination of the looming threat of war in Iraq and a prolonged general strike in Venezuela recently sent oil prices over the $30/barrel threshold, accelerating the pace of price moves among suppliers of raw materials for coatings.

Companies initiating price-hike moves have included Eastman Chemical Co., Reichhold Inc., The Dow Chemical Co., Air Products Polymers L.P., Akzo Nobel Resins, Cook Composites and Polymers, Noveon Inc. and Johnson Polymer. Products involved are various waterborne emulsions, alkyd resins, epoxy resins, polyester resins, epoxy curing agents, acetone, and other materials.

DuPont Titanium Technologies, the world's largest producer of titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigments, announced TiO2 price increases of 6o/lb. in the United States and 9o/lb. in Canada, effective Feb. 1. The company recently announced TiO2 price increases of 7% in Europe and $100-$150/metric ton in Asia.

Price moves affecting coatings raw-material markets are reported weekly in INSIDER NEWS, the weekly e-mail newsletter produced by PCI and the NPCA. The newsletter is posted on the PCI website, located at www.pcimag.com, and the site also includes subscription information.