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CP Kelco raises pectin and xanthan gum prices

By Lindsey Partos , 19-Oct-2005

Leading pectin and xanthan gum supplier CP Kelco becomes the latest hydrocolloid firm to pass costs onto the market, announcing price rises across its biogum, carrageenan and cellulose gum range.

The US firm blamed "strong increases in raw material, energy and freight costs" for the price hike, effective 15 November.

 

Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) prices for the customer are set to rise between 7 to 10 per cent, 5 to 10 per cent for xanthan gum and xanthan blends; and 10 per cent for gellan, wellan and diutan gums.

 

In addition, the Atlanta-based firm company - now owned by JM Huber - warned it will implement a 4 to 6 per cent increase across its pectin and refined carrageenan products.

 

Hydrocolloids, used extensively by the food industry to texturise and stabilise food products from dressings to ice cream, continue to face spiralling costs for raw materials.

 

Locust bean has seen massive price rises on the back of a bad crop and supply chain problems. Guar gum has gone up, and carrageenan prices, extracted from seaweed, have been impacted by a strong pull on global carrageenan stocks, themselves influenced by an increase in demand from China's booming processed food industry.

 

The Dutch firm is far from alone in its move to pass costs onto the market. Already this month, Purac hiked up prices for lactic acid, Swiss-based Jungbunzlauer has raised prices for its citric acid, Solae has pushed up soy lecithin prices, ISP for its alginate range, and FMC lifted gum prices on spiralling energy costs.

 

Industries from steel to food continue to be hit by soaring energy costs. Prices for crude oil, both a key raw material and energy supplier for the food industry, recently topped a record $70 a barrel.

 

And the prices have been exacerbated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that last month ripped through the Gulf of Mexico, an important area for the extraction of oil, propelling fears of shortages.

 

Since then they have fallen, although oil prices rose earlier this week by more than $1 on fears that a new storm is brewing in the Caribbean. In addition, prices were impacted by the imminent arrival of winter in the US, the world's biggest energy user .

 

Global oil consumption is expected to increase by 1.75 million barrels a day next year to total 85.2m barrels a day, the International Energy Agency forecast last week.

 

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