Raw material costs and supply shortages are the main drivers. The printing industry and its suppliers continue to fight the trend of increasing raw material costs, as well as the threat of global shortages of certain base materials that are integral to the manufacture of printing consumables.
“We’re seeing price increases in nearly all raw material sectors and in all major geographies serving graphic arts chemicals and consumables manufacturers,” Diane Parisi, vice president, supply chain Americas, explained. “The result is significant.
“In the area of raw materials capacity,” continued Ms. Parisi, “one particularly troubling trend is with acrylic acid. Our suppliers require acrylic acid to make acrylated materials that are used in Flint Group’s energy curable inks and coatings.” A major North American supplier of acrylic acid significantly reduced capacity, while another experienced a fire which has caused them to cease production. The result is severe shortages with no immediate relief for consumables manufacturers.
“Our research and forecasts are quite telling,” said Ms. Parisi. “We don’t see any signs of improved raw material costs or supply in the near term."
Michael Podd, business director sheetfed inks, noted that Flint Group’s global procurement group has minimized the impact on customers as much as possible. "Unfortunately,” he added, “the extent of these energy curable cost increases can not be fully mitigated by supply chain, manufacturing and formulation initiatives.”
Customers will be notified directly by Flint Group's sales organization to discuss the impact on the particular products they purchase. Flint Group will honor their contractual obligations in implementing the increases.