Recession-driven supply chain de-stocking and lack of replacement capacity mixed with increased global demand for key raw materials is forcing costs of ink production up. In some cases, raw materials have risen by more than 50% in the last six months, and the outlook offers no sign of relief in the short term.
As a result, price increases across all ink products and selected pressroom chemicals are being communicated by Flint Group to the market: Heatset inks will increase by €0.25/kg, coldset black by €0.15/kg, coldset colors by €0.25/kg, conventional sheetfed inks by 5% to 8% depending on the product and some pressroom chemicals by 5% to 8%.
“We are very aware that the European print industry is under enormous pressure, not just in controlling total cost, but also in terms of reducing run lengths and competition from abroad,” explained Nick Brannan, vice president of product management, Flint Group Print Media Europe. “However, these supply chain shortages are having an astonishing impact on our key raw materials. The outlook is for the volatility to continue, and for there to be ongoing pressure on our costs for the foreseeable future.”
Flint Group has been working very hard to mitigate the increases, through various cost containment initiatives, whilst at the same time keeping customers informed of the spiraling costs. Now its ability to continue absorbing the increases has come to end due to the magnitude and widespread nature of the situation.
“In addition, we now need to consider the sudden drop in the €, as this will surely increase the impact on our costs. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely, and maintain open dialogue with our customers” Mr. Brannan concluded.