Kuraray announces the decision to increase the price of its EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer) resin EVAL by ¥50 per kilogram for domestic and overseas shipments commencing March 1, 2008.

With the release of EVAL in 1972, Kuraray became the first company in the world to develop and commercialize such a high-quality functional resin, which boasts the highest level of gas barrier properties of any plastic (approximately 10,000 times that of general-purpose polyethylene). Given these properties, EVAL is an excellent wrapping material for preserving the freshness of foods and in the context of gasoline fuel emission controls in recent years, its use as a material for automotive fuel tanks has been expanding, as it facilitates weight reduction and molding. Furthermore, use of EVAL in floor-heating pipes as well as other home and everyday products has been growing with tight demand and supply continuing in Europe and the United States.

Against the backdrop of drastic rises in crude oil prices, the costs of raw materials including naphtha have been increasing significantly and the price of ethylene, the main raw material used in producing EVAL, has also been climbing sharply, contributing to a steep fall in revenues from EVAL operations both domestically and overseas. For these reasons, Kuraray decided to implement prices revisions, details of which are as follows.

1. Scope of revisions:
All domestic and overseas shipments of EVOH ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer resin EVAL
2. Price increase:
¥50 per kilogram
3. Effective date:
Shipments from March 1, 2008