The year 2001 has been a difficult one for the U.S. economy, and the printing ink industry is no exception. The National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers’ quarterly sales reports confirm that, showing sales of ink down an estimated 4.2 percent during the first six months of the year.
Essentially, demand is down across the board while capacity increases, which is a dangerous combination.
This, in itself, is bad news, but there are more problems to be faced, as there does not appear to be any relief in sight on raw material prices. In fact, with the cost of crude oil holding steady at relatively high levels, petroleum-based products are likely to remain at higher pricing levels.
That’s the message that can be found in “The Raw Material Report,” beginning on page 112. That is a serious concern. Even more daunting is the sense from leaders throughout the ink industry that there is no turnaround right around the corner, and that the hope is 2002 will bring an economic upswing.
On a different note, the history of the printing ink industry is a fascinating one, primarily because of the people and the companies that have made their mark in the field.
Superior Printing Ink is undoubtedly one such leader. For more than 80 years, Superior Printing Ink has had an impressive array of leaders, including Harry Kriegel, Morton Kapp, Nat Rosen, Joseph Simons and Meyer Mandel, who gave the company its strong foundation.
Today, Harvey Brice, Jeffrey Simons and Michael Brice have piloted the company to its standing as the seventh-largest U.S. ink manufacturer. “Providing Superior Quality and Value,” beginning on page 24, is the second in our series of profiles on the leaders of the printing ink industry, and their story is one to which other companies may aspire.
Finally, change is inevitable, and both Jenn Hess and Tom Williams Jr., our two excellent associate editors, have moved on to exciting new opportunities. With that, I happily welcome Kerry Pianoforte and Michael Agosto to Ink World as our two new associate editors. They both bring strong experience in magazine publishing, and will help provide the comprehensive reports our readers have come to expect from us.