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Australia dodges an aluminium bullet

Friday, 25 May 2018
By Jake Nelson

A global price hike on Agfa printing plates due to rising costs of aluminium will not affect Australian customers, thanks to a recycling program that helps reduce prices.

Mark Brindley, Agfa.

Agfa announced it would increase prices by up to 10 percent worldwide due to soaring aluminium costs; however, these increases are dependent on local markets and contracts. “Thanks to the increased intrinsic recycle value of the used printing plates, the price increase will not necessarily result in a cost increase for our customers,” said Stefaan Vanhooren, president of Agfa Graphics.

Mark Brindley, managing director at Agfa Graphics Oceania, confirmed that the company’s recycling program would negate the price increase in Australia. “We discuss aluminium with our customers every day of the week,” said Brindley. “We’ve had a program in place since 2008 that handles what happens with aluminium, and as a result there will be no price increase for Australian customers.”

Ian Martin, WRH Global.

Other suppliers have also indicated their prices will remain the same, including WRH Global, which distributes Xingraphics and IBF plates. Ian Martin, general manager for trade at WRH Global, told Print21 it’s not on the cards at the moment. “It’ll always be on a case by case basis, but we have no plans at this stage to raise prices,” he said. Kodak has also given no sign of further price rises following its most recent increase in September.

The news is welcome relief for printers who have already been hit by price hikes in ink from Flint Group and Sun Chemical, and paper from all three major Australian suppliers, this year.

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