Market Watch

Price Increases Announced Throughout the Ink Industry


Price Increases Announced Throughout the Ink Industry

Due to continued increases in the costs of raw materials and volatility in the supply chain, Sun Chemical will raise prices globally on all packaging inks for all printing methods and chemistries on Dec. 1, 2011. The price increases will vary, but the average cost increase will be approximately 6 percent for most products.

White inks, nitrocellulose varnish and other products containing the phthalocyanine green (PG7) pigment will each see significantly higher price increases.

“Raw materials cost and supply instability continue to significantly impact the ink industry,” said Felipe Mellado, chief marketing officer, Sun Chemical. “In fact, raw materials in 2011 experienced both a record level of volatility as well as unprecedented price increases. Titanium dioxide, for example, experienced steep price increases reaching a level more than 50 percent higher than in early 2010.”

In addition to steep price increases for TiO2, there were very significant increases in nitrocellulose, energy cure resins, acrylics and other packaging resins, styrene, classical pigments, carbon black, vegetable oils, solvents and additives.

The factors causing this volatility and inflation include feedstock shortages, commodity inflation, supply constraints and continued growth in demand from both traditional markets as well as from alternative industries like adhesives, coatings and tires.

“We regret needing to take this action, but as is occurring in virtually every industry today, current market conditions demand we adjust our prices,” Mr. Mellado said. “It is our commitment to continue to work closely with customers to help them get the most possible out of our products, and to develop new valued products and services that can help grow their business despite this challenging marketplace.”

• Sun Chemical is also raising ink prices in Canada. Faced with continued volatility in the global supply chain and increases in the costs of raw materials, Sun Chemical will raise prices beginning Dec. 1, 2011 in Canada by:

• 8 percent for heatset process inks.

• 12 percent for coldset black inks.

• 6 percent for coldset color inks.

• 5 percent for water-based inks.

• 8 percent for solvent-based inks.

• 6 percent for energy curable inks.

• 5 percent for sheetfed inks.

• 8 percent for water-based coatings.

“Commodity, resin and pigment prices continue to rise and are dramatically higher than earlier this year. We see the supply of many critical raw materials continuing to be constrained due to operational, market and weather-related issues, and there doesn’t appear to be any relief anticipated in the near term,” said Rod Staveley, president, Sun Chemical Canada. “We cannot absorb the drastic raw material price increases and global supply chain instability we continue to see. Despite these challenges, we will continue to deliver on-time, quality products to our customers through significant efforts of our supply chain and technical teams.”

• Flint Group has announced further price increases for solvent-based, water-based and UV inks for labels and packaging in Europe. Significant increases in raw material costs this year, an increased global demand for critical raw materials as well as a lack of replacement capacity is forcing up the costs of ink. The continually challenging raw material market requires Flint Group to increase prices for solvent-based, water-based and UV inks for labels and packaging in Europe effective Jan. 1, 2012.

“The price increases for our customers will be on average 5 percent,” said Mark Sutton, business director film and foil EMEA. “Increases will, however, vary by product and some increases on specific products will be significantly higher.”

“Flint Group will continue to search for raw material replacements and offer alternative products to our customers where relevant in order to minimize the impact of the increases as much as possible,” Kim Melander, business director paper and board EMEA, added. “Regrettably however, the extent of the raw material cost increases can not be fully absorbed by supply chain, manufacturing and formulation initiatives.”

• Siegwerk has announced further price increases in EMEA. Due to continued raw material cost pressure, Siegwerk will raise prices in its packaging market segments on average by 6 percent with immediate effect.

“Latest discussions with suppliers indicate further price increases for some critical raw materials,” said Hugo Noordhoek Hegt, president packaging EMEA. “Some expected price decreases are clearly not materializing. So despite of our various internal efficiency measures, we are again forced to pass on some of these costs to our customers.”

“TiO2 has increased between 50 to 60 percent during 2011 and the signs for 2012 are that this trend will continue, availability and raw material inflation being the drivers,” said Mr. Noordhoek Hegt. “This kind of drastic increases cannot be fully compensated by internal efficiency measures anymore, so we will have to ask our customers to plan for further increases in their budgets for 2012.”