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Local industry insulated from global ink price rises

Thursday, 02 November 2006
By Print21

Both Sun Chemical in Europe and the Flint Group in North America have announced price rises across their range of inks, with both manufacturers citing the skyrocketing cost of raw materials making existing prices unsustainable. But at this stage it appears these movements will not be reflected in the local market with both Flint Inks India Pacific and Coates Australia confirming they have no plans to raise ink rises.

Jim Rogers, regional marketing manager of Flint Inks India Pacific, says the sourcing of raw materials for certain brands of its ink is somewhat cheaper in the region than it is for the rest of the world. This has allowed the company to manage and control its costs to date, negating the need for a price rise.

“The United States and Europe have been hit very hard by raw material costs. We are starting to feel the pressures here but have managed to handle it reasonably well,” says Rogers.

“But it’s likely we’ll have to follow suit with the rest of the world at some point in the future, so we don’t expect to be immune from that.”

Local manufacturer Coates Australia is more bullish when it comes to the impact of raw material costs. Nonetheless, it also claims it has no immediate plans to implement across-the-board rises for its inks and claims the market has little tolerance for such price increases.

“There is no doubt about it, manufacturing and transport costs are up,” says David Rands, managing director of Coates Australia. “We do desperately need price rises, and as time goes on we will be looking for the support of the market to bring them.”

Ink prices go up across US and Europe

While prices may be remaining stationary for the moment in Australia, Sun Chemical has revealed across-the-board rises of up to 12 per cent in Europe.

“Sun Chemical is proactively working with its supplier base, monitoring industry conditions and continuing internal efficiency programmes to mitigate the impact of rising costs, material scarcities and transportation availability,” says Felipe Mellado, corporate vice-president of marketing for Sun Chemical European Inks.

“However, given the speed and scale of these cost increases, and despite fluctuations in the oil price, it has been necessary to implement price increases to cover basic costs. We would not expect these to drop any time soon.”??

The Flint Group in the US, which last year merged with German-based XSYS Print Solutions to form one of the largest ink manufacturers in the world, has already implemented price rises across its range of coldset and news offset ink products. The company claims that in the last year it has suffered over 80 raw material price increases from its supply base of approximately 30 key suppliers across the world.

“Global demand for chemical raw materials in developing regions of the world has significantly tightened supply of basic chemicals used by the newspaper printing ink industry, including Flint Group,” says Mike Green, general manager of Flint Group North America News Ink Division.

“We are now competing for supply from historic raw material sources that in many cases, now have greater value in other developing global markets and industries. Our ink price increases are necessary to offset the continuing escalation of raw materials, energy, and freight costs.”

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