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Ink prices continue to rise

It was back in January that the Luxemburg based ink manufacturer Flint Group announced a hefty nine percent price rise for inks for offset and publication gravure inks, coatings and pressroom consumables. The firm put it down to a hike in raw materials and increased stricter environmental standards in the manufacturing process.

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Ink prices have risen far above inflation rates

Bill Miller of the company said at the time: “Combining 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. 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.”

Since then Ink World reports of more increases in prices. Last week, Arkema hiked a range of their ink products, ink related chemicals and consumables by ten percent citing the increase was: “…required to offset the tightness of key raw materials and to face a strong market demand.”

This has adversely impacted the cost of manufacturing, most of our key product lines to a degree that can we can no longer absorb

The Fifth Global Trends Report, published last month illustrated one of the issues faced by printers. In a survey of views of 300 firms in the business they found it was the cost of inks which: “…remains the core issue restraining growth. However, where an inkjet application can fit to a specialist market then growth can be impressive. One supplier expressed it well: ‘Understanding the value stream is key to selling inkjet. The focus has been on applications where good alignment exists, but these are increasing rapidly.’”

Digital ink in particular can be very expensive- even more expensive than champagne or perfume, and the reason is partly explained by manufacturers claiming developing the digital presses has been very costly and so to get their investment back the ink needs to be charged at a premium. This is an argument that does not wash with most in the industry. The main reason many in the print business feel is it the manufacturers know they can get away with it - for now.

If you have an interesting story or a view on this news, then please e-mail news@printmonthly.co.uk

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