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Ink price hike to further squeeze local printers

Friday, 02 February 2018
By Jake Nelson

Flint Group will increase prices globally on offset and publication gravure inks, coatings and pressroom consumables from March of this year, citing increased costs of raw materials.

Bill Miller, Flint Group.

Prices will increase by up to nine percent on these products from March 1, 2018, and the Luxembourg-based company expects larger increases on some specialty products such as silicones and high-performance coatings. The decision was driven by various factors impacting supply and cost of raw materials, including stricter environmental standards and consolidation among suppliers. “Combined, these factors have affected material availability and cost. This has adversely impacted the cost of manufacturing most of our key product lines to a degree that can we can no longer absorb,” said Bill Miller, chief operating officer of Flint Group CPS Inks.

“CPS Inks will be in direct contact with our customers to provide more detail. This situation is very unfortunate, but needed in the current raw material climate of higher costs and reduced availability,” he said.

Paul Lamberti, Flint Group ANZ.

Price rises will be coming to the local market, confirms Paul Lamberti, director at Flint Group Australia and New Zealand, though the details have yet to be worked out. “We will be rolling out price increases in the Australian and New Zealand market. The percentage, customers and products involved are yet to be determined,” Lamberti told Print21.

The move comes almost a year after Flint raised its prices between four and seven percent in April 2017. Raw material costs were to blame then as well as now, in particular a shortage of titanium oxide (TiO2), called ‘titanium white’ when used as a pigment, following a January 2017 fire at a Finland factory. Packaging inks also went up at the start of this year.

It is not yet known whether other suppliers will raise their own prices in response to Flint Group’s announcement, with Ian Johns, managing director of DIC Australia, declining to comment. Printers have felt the supply squeeze in other areas over recent months as well, with each of Australia’s three biggest paper merchants – Direct Paper, Spicers, and Ball and Doggett – hiking their prices as of this month due to upward pressure from mills.

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