Every September, Ink World publishes our annual Buyers’ Guide, the printing ink industry’s most comprehensive listing of raw materials, equipment and services, as well as important data and contact information for suppliers, distributors and trade associations. In addition to our September/October issue, our Buyers’ Guide information can also be found on the web at www.inkworldmagazine.com.
As has been the case for the past several years, the topic of raw materials continues to be of major importance to the ink industry. Ink manufacturers have been faced with the twin challenges of dramatically higher prices and supply concerns, as some important ingredients for ink have become scarcer. In particular, the ink industry often finds itself competing with larger industries for the same raw materials. This leads to the ink industry having to pay a premium for its supply.
In my Raw Material Report, there is some good news. Ink executives noted that for the most part, prices have stabilized. Of course, these costs have stabilized at a much higher level than in the past, but less volatility will at least help ink manufacturers determine their costs. Availability also seems to have become steadier for most of the necessary ingredients.
However, ink industry executives caution that this lull in price increases could easily be jolted by a number of factors, beginning with crude oil prices. This is an issue that the industry will be keeping a close eye on in the coming months.
There have been some bright spots for the ink industry in recent years, and the Chinese ink market has been one of these.Domestic and international ink manufacturers alike have found opportunities in China, as the growth in the packaging market has been strong. In my report on the Chinese ink market, ink leader note that the double-digit expansions of recent years have slowed, but without a doubt, China remains a great opportunity for the ink industry.
Ink World Editor