NEW YORK — The other shoe in the domestic rayon business dropped Thursday when Lenzing Fibers Corp. said it was increasing prices for its rayon staple fibers 12 to 15 percent, effective with shipments of May 1.
Lenzing’s increase follows by two days an announcement by Courtaulds Fibers, the leading U.S. rayon producer at 180 million pounds annually, that it was raising prices 12 to 15 percent on its rayon fibers, effective May 1.
Mikel T. Dodd, Lenzing’s president, said, “Wood pulp and other raw material costs have increased so significantly in a short period of time that it is not possible for us to further absorb these costs.” Dodd also noted that additional increases may be necessary later this year.
Lenzing, the world’s leading rayon producer at 550 million pounds, produces 125 million pounds at its plant at Lowland, Tenn. Lenzing bought BASF Corp.’s U.S. rayon business in July 1992.
As at Courtaulds, the price increase is the second this year for Lenzing, which had a 5 to 10 percent increase on Jan. 2. That was the firm’s first price hike since January 1991, a 6 percent increase.