FCC catalyst prices have been increasing over the past 10 years due to a consolidated market and disciplined pricing by the competitors.
W.R. Grace and Albemarle announced ~10% pricing increases in April 2013, but Grace
seems to have lost significant volume as a result of this price increase (according to their 2Q13 earnings presentation). It blamed ‘aggressive competitive action’ for the loss of their volume.
Albemarle has traditionally been very disciplined on pricing, and BASF has typically sold at a discount because their product service is considers worse then the above companies.
Rumors are that Albemarle’s relatively new management will try to ‘shake’ the market, avoiding further price increasing after last raise on April , while expanding its FCC catalyst capacity in its current factories.
Personally, I think their growing penetration into China and Saudi will allow them to keep their fixed price and to rely on their FCC catalyst capacity growth