The cost of oil and natural gas has continued to maintain historically high levels despite the recent softening of the crude prices. The continued effect on the prices of the chemical raw materials and pigments used to formulate flexo and gravure packaging inks is well documented. Solvent prices of course are also significantly affected, as are packaging and freight costs. Unprecedented market material price pressures in Europe combined with increased global demand and the reduction of some raw material production capacities have further driven price increases.
Flint Group Packaging Inks Division Europe have been and are working hard to minimize the effects of these cost pressures by realizing the synergy of site consolidation, technology integration and purchasing power improvement. The savings have not compensated for the magnitude of the increased material and energy costs imposed by the suppliers. The sustained material cost increases suffered in previous years have only been partially offset by the general price increase given at the beginning of this year. Flint Group is therefore obliged to announce a further price increase for flexo and gravure packaging inks from Jan. 1, 2007.
“The unrelenting rise in energy, oil and gas costs combined with a unique combination of raw material capacity reductions and increased global demands have continued to place the key industry raw materials under relentless increased price pressure. Stock market investments also have driven strategic commodity materials up to record price levels,” observed Doug Aldred, vice president and general manager, Packaging Inks Division. “The increased levels of efficiency and synergy reaped from the rapid integration of the two companies after the recent merger of XSYS and Flint Schmidt have enabled the Flint Group to withstand the shortages. However we still find that we have to make the difficult, but necessary, step where we must regretfully pass the raw material price increases on to our customers. We thank all our customers for their understanding and cooperation.”