By Patrick Raleigh UT On-line/news editorLudwigshafen, Germany-BASF AG is to increase prices for 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and BDO derivatives with effect from 1 June to offset continuing "cost increases and unsatisfactory margins." BASF's prices for 1,4-BDO are to rise by Euro0.10/kg and $0.05/lb in Europe and North America, respectively, and $0.20/kg elsewhere, the group announced 27 May. The hikes also include tetrahydrofuran (THF) and polytetramethylene ether glycol (PTMEG), which will both rise by Euro0.20/kg in Europe, $0.10/lb in North America. Elsewhere, THF prices will rise by $0.20/kg, while PTMEG prices are to go up by $0.30/kg. In March, BASF temporarily halved output from a new 100-kilotonne-per-annum BDO plant in Kuantan, Malaysia, citing "unfavourable global market conditions." BASF claims to be the world's largest manufacturer of BDO and its derivatives, with an annual capacity of 570 kilotonnnes from seven plants worldwide. The products are primarily used as feedstocks for the production of thermoplastic polyurethanes, spandex fibres and engineering plastics."