LILLY HIKES GELCOAT PRICES

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INDIANAPOLIS—Some composites makers may suffer another bite from their profit margins as price increases continue to trickle down the petrochemical chain.

Lilly Industries Inc. of Indianapolis announced a price increase ranging from 2-3 cents per pound effective March 17 on gelcoat and related composite products such as laminating resins.

The price increase was necessitated by rising costs of styrene monomer, unsaturated polyester resins, titanium dioxide pigment and other chemicals, according to Larry D. Nelson, Lilly's business director of composites.

Nelson said earlier attempts to raise prices in the gelcoat industry faltered, but added Lilly felt it had to act independently to boost revenues in the face of increasing raw materials costs.

The Lilly announcement comes on the heels of increases of 2-4 cents per pound put into effect in February by the six major producers of unsaturated polyester.

Unsaturated polyester is a major component of gelcoats, which provide the smooth, glossy finish to many composites products ranging from boats to bathtubs.