Bowing to the sky-high price of oil, textiles titan

Wellman

(WLM)

on Monday set a 3-cent-a-pound increase on polyester staple fiber products.

The Charlotte, N.C., maker of polyester fibers and packaging resins said its prices will rise effective with shipments Sept. 1. The company said the new pricing policy applies to products for the apparel, home furnishings, nonwovens, industrial and fiberfill markets.

"This pricing initiative is necessary to offset the prolonged increase of petroleum and recycled-based feedstock prices, resulting from global tightness in both the paraxylene and ethylene glycol markets and unprecedented high oil prices," said Wellman's Joe Tucker. "As such, we hope that our customers understand the need for this price increase."

The news comes as crude oil remains near record-high levels amid worries about tight supply and continued unrest in Iraq. The benchmark U.S. crude fell 28 cents around midday Monday to $46.30, after the September futures contract jumped another 2% on Friday. The contract briefly traded higher earlier in the session. Moves such as Wellman's have added to worries among observers that the high cost of energy could boost inflation across the recovering U.S. economy.

Wellman shares rose 7 cents to $6.56.