Flurry of price increases announced
Manufacturers and providers of services have recently announced price hikes on products, materials and services. West Chester, Ohio-based AK Steel recently announced that it will increase current spot market base prices for all carbon flat-rolled steel products by $50 per ton, effective immediately with new orders.
AK Steel produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steels, primarily for automotive, infrastructure and manufacturing, construction and electrical power generation and distribution markets. The company employs about 6,200 in Middletown, Mansfield, Coshocton and Zanesville, Ohio; Butler, Pa.; Ashland, Ky.; and Rockport, Ind. Its corporate headquarters is in West Chester, Ohio.
Effective Dec. 1, West Fargo, N.D.-based Bobcat Co. will raise the price of power units, attachments and select loader options. Models scheduled to become 2012 Interim Tier 4 (iT4) compliant, will increase by 5.25% on Dec. 1, 2011. A Bobcat spokesman told Govpro.com that the price increase will be the lesser of two planned price increases for those models.
Bobcat is a business of Doosan Infracore Co., Ltd., a manufacturer and distributor of compact and heavy industrial products. Bobcat compact equipment includes skid-steer, all-wheel steer and compact track loaders; compact excavators; mini-track loaders; VersaHandler telescopic tool carriers; utility vehicles; compact tractors and Toolcat utility work machines. Bobcat has more than 600 dealer locations in North America.
Northbrook, Ill.-based KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp. is implementing a $50 per ton price increase for its kraft paper grades, which will be fully realized in early 2012.
Roger W. Stone, KapStone’s chairman and chief executive officer, announced the price increase when he reported the company’s results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2011.
The company offers 300 unbleached and bleached-grade types of kraft paper. Its KapStone Kraft Paper is used for retail shopping bags, fast food carry-out bags and grocery sacks. The company also produces Kraftpak, which is a low-density, high-strength, unbleached and uncoated natural fiber paperboard.
Oklahoma City, Okla.-based Tronox Inc., on behalf of its subsidiary companies, announced that it is raising the North American price for all TRONOX titanium dioxide (TiO2) grades by 15 cents per pound, effective Nov. 1, or as contracts allow.
The announced increases are in addition to those previously announced. Other increases may be announced locally within each region.
Tronox is a producer and marketer of titanium dioxide pigment, which is an inorganic white pigment used in paint, coatings, plastics, paper and many other products. The company’s pigment plants, which are located in the United States, Australia and the Netherlands, supply products to approximately 1,100 customers in 100 countries.
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has announced several price hikes. Beginning early in 2012, it will cost a penny more to mail letters to any location in the United States. This is the first price change for First-Class Mail stamps (Forever stamps) in more than two and a half years. The new price for Forever stamps will be 45 cents, based on the USPS filing with the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Highlights of the new single-piece First-Class Mail pricing, effective Jan. 22, 2012, include:
- Letters (1 oz.) – 1-cent increase to 45 cents
- Letters additional ounces – unchanged at 20 cents
- Postcards – 3-cent increase to 32 cents
- Letters to Canada or Mexico (1 oz.) – 5-cent increase to 85 cents.
- Letters to other international destinations – 7-cent increase to $1.05
Prices also will change for other mailing services, including standard mail, periodicals, package services and extra services. Prices for Express Mail and Priority Mail will remain the same. Here is a factsheet on the new USPS pricing.
“The overall average price increase is small and is needed to help address our current financial crisis,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “We continue to take actions within our control to increase revenue in other ways and to aggressively cut costs. To return to sound financial footing, we urgently need enactment of comprehensive, long-term legislation to provide the Postal Service with a more flexible business model.”