By Patrick Raleigh, UT On-line/news editorLemforde, Germany-Elastogran GmbH has raised prices by up to 15 percent with effect from mid-May, in response to what managing director Reinhard Leppke describes as "unprecedented" pressures on cost and supply."The whole situation resembles an auction. Raw material prices go up every day," Leppkes said in an interview in the May issue of Elastogran PUR-the BASF AG firm's customer magazine.Prices for petrochemical feedstocks and energy have risen sharply and are about to rise further, said Leppkes, adding that recent PU market developments "far exceed the usual fluctuations and cycles."The Elastogran boss went on to warn about supply shortages due to "unusually high" demand for isocyanate and polyol products. With no new capacities coming on stream worldwide, the Elastogran boss foresees "limited product availability for the foreseeable future." According to Leppkes, Elastogran cannot always guarantee supplies above the level of the first quarter of 2004-even without future production-related supply shortages. "The market situation is completely different from last year. Not only us but our clients have to face the reality of the situation," the Elastogran boss concluded."