By David Reed, UT EditorMidland, Michigan-The Dow Chemical Co. has announced that, with effect from 1 Jan 2005, it will increase prices for its propylene oxide and propylene glycol products by $0.10/lb in North America and Latin America. In addition, Dow says it will maintain its 80-percent order control in North America for the same products, until further notice.In addition to PO, the move affects the firm's various propylene glycol product grades, according to a 7 Dec statement from Dow. The firm says it will also increase the prices of tripropylene glycol and tripropylene glycol acrylate grade (TPG-AG) by $0.16/lb in North and Latin America, from the same date."The overall supply/demand situation in propylene glycol and propylene oxide remains tight, and we do not see any respite in the near term," said Antulio Borneo, commercial director, Dow oxides and glycols. "High energy costs and tight supply of propylene monomer, a key raw material in the production of propylene glycol, have also influenced Dow's decision to increase prices for its products," his statement added.With a global capacity of more than 4000 million pounds a year (1800 kilotonnes per annum), Dow claims to be the industry leader in the manufacture of propylene oxide, with production facilities in Texas, Louisiana, Germany and Brazil. The firm also says it is industry leader in the manufacture of propylene glycol, with a global capacity of more than one billion pounds (over 450 ktpa)."