February sales figures show Praxair benefited from a 6 per percent increase in sales year on year, reflecting higher volumes and pricing in all geographic regions.

In North America, sales rose 3 per cent overall with on-site, merchant and packaged gases sales all higher than in 2006. The company also report continued strong demand for merchant products and on-site hydrogen in the region.

European business fared particularly well in February, with a sales increase of 18 per cent. Praxair explain the rises have been driven by continued volume growth in Spain, Italy and Western Europe, and higher pricing supported by pass-through of higher power costs.

South American sales increased 11 per cent, led by an increase in on-site, merchant and packaged gas sales.
Asian sales are also rising, with a February increase of 9 per cent and sales year-to-date increasing 13 per cent, buoyed by higher volumes in China, India and Korea. This is partially offset by lower demand from food-freezing applications and electronics, though the company say new business development activity in Asia remains strong.