First, the good news: most of the leading ink manufacturers enjoyed a better year in terms of sales during 2010. As has been the case in recent years, companies that focus on packaging, digital and UV inks fared better than those companies that are largely involved in the publication and commercial markets. In addition, ink companies that have strong positions in the Asia-Pacific region were likely to show stronger growth.
Even though sales are up, ink manufacturers are worried about raw material pricing and supply. Volatile raw material costs affect both the bottom line as well as the customers, who don’t want to keep hearing about higher prices from their ink suppliers.
The issue of supply is the more pressing concern. It is one thing to go to a customer and say prices are going up. It’s another to tell the customer that a key raw material ingredient may be leaving the market or becoming extremely scarce.
In talking with leading ink industry executives, raw materials are very much on their minds. Only time will tell how the raw material market will eventually play out.
The Top International Ink Companies (Ink and Graphic Arts Sales)
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