The past two months have seen numerous announcements of price increases from ink manufacturers, driven by pricing pressure and shortages of key raw materials such as rosin resin and pigment violet 23, to name but two. These include the following:
• Sun Chemical announced that the price of its heatset and publication gravure products in Europe will be increased by €0.20–0.25 per kg depending on color.
• Due to a 50%-75% spike in the raw material costs for the violet 23 pigment with further increases expected in 2011, Sun Chemical raised prices for all products containing the pigment by 20% in North America, effective Jan. 1, 2011. The majority of ink products affected are in the liquid inks market, but violet 23 pigments are also used in a variety of conventional sheetfed and UV inks.
• Sun Chemical announced an immediate 25% price increase for all its products containing the raw material pigment violet 23. The increase has become essential due to cost of the pigment going up by 70% in the past 12 months with further increases expected.
• The unprecedented escalation in prices of all key raw materials, that has dominated the ink manufacturers’ supply chain throughout 2010, continues to dramatically affect the costs of producing heatset, coldset and publication gravure inks. In some cases, raw materials have risen by more than 100% in the last six to nine months, and the outlook for 2011 is for this trend to continue. As a result, price increases are being communicated by the Print Media Europe Division of Flint Group to the market effective from Jan. 1, 2011: heatset inks will increase by €0.45/kg, coldset inks by €0.35/kg, and publication gravure by €0.40/kg.
• Faced with continued increases in the costs of raw materials and volatility in the global supply chain, Sun Chemical raised prices on Feb. 1, 2011 in North America by:
• $0.14 per pound for sheetfed blending bases.
• $0.10 per pound for sheetfed blacks, whites and varnishes.
• $0.12 per pound for heatset process black and color inks.
• $0.07 per pound for solvent-based liquid inks.
• $0.10 per pound for all white liquid inks.
• 5 percent for screen inks.
• 8%-12% for heatset Pantone Matching Systems(PMS), fluorescent, metallic inks and overprint varnishes,
• 5%-10% percent for silicones and washes.
• 5% for fountain solutions.
• Flint Group North America announced price increases on certain printing inks and pressroom chemistry sold in the U.S. and Canada. This is in addition to the news ink price increase implemented Jan. 1 and previously announced increases for blankets and sleeves. Prices will increase on inks, overprint varnishes and pressroom chemistry as follows, effective Feb. 1, 2011 and subject to existing contracts:
Liquid Packaging & Narrow Web Inks:
All Whites: up to 10%, depending on technology
Solvent Colors: up to 8%
Print Media Inks:
Sheetfed Conventional: 8%
Heatset Blends, Metallics, Fluorescents and OPVs: 12%
Publication Gravure: 9%
Print Media Chemicals:
Spray Powders: 8%-15%
Press Washes: 8%-12%
Web Conditioners: 6%-10%
Fountain Solutions: 5%-8%
• Ongoing supply shortages and continuous cost increases have forced Siegwerk to raise ink prices again with immediate effect for some products in EMEA. Up to 70% increases in violet pigments make this action necessary.
All products containing violet pigments are affected by this dramatic situation. Violet with pigment 23 will increase by €2/kg, reflex blue by €0.80/kg and blue 072 by €1.05/kg, neglecting supply contracts or not. Additionally, all metallic inks will raise by €1.90/kg.