Airgas announced that effective 21 November or as contracts permit, its operating units will increase prices on packaged and bulk gases and other products.

Prices will increase, on average 6 – 8 per cent for carbon dioxide, dry ice, specialty gases and medical gases, 8 –10 per cent for certain packaged and bulk industrial gases, including oxygen and nitrogen and 12 –15 per cent for hydrogen, helium, acetylene and other fuel gases.

Airgas chairman and chief executive officer, Peter McCausland, said: \\$quot;We are in a period of tight supply and high demand, which combined with unprecedented increases in raw material costs, higher operating costs, including rising utility and labour costs, all factor into our need to take these actions.

\\$quot;We will continue to work very hard to provide products to our customers efficiently through the strongest network in the business.\\$quot;