The company also said it won't enter into long-term contracts without price flexibility to offset unanticipated energy and other inflationary costs outside the company's control. Since late last year, natural gas costs have doubled, driven in part by the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, PPG said.
"The sudden, unanticipated impact to energy costs has made an already unsustainable situation even worse for energy-intensive manufacturing in the United States, and there is no clear end in sight," said PPG exec Victoria Holt in a letter to customers. "We continue to eliminate costs from our structure at every possible opportunity, but there simply is no way to recover millions of dollars of immediate cost impact due to energy. Nor is it prudent to establish firm pricing when the cost basis of our industry remains volatile."