In conjunction with our annual Buyers’ Guide, our September/October issue also features The Raw Material Report, which begins on page 16. Costs and availability of key ingredients for ink formulations have been a major concern in recent years. Generally speaking, the past year has seen some stabilization in the market, albeit at higher prices than before, and availability has generally become more consistent as well
However, there are exceptions, such as pigment intermediates, which are being driven by environmental issues. China has understandably started to rein in businesses and industries that are creating pollution, by creating new laws and enforcing these regulations. Some companies have been forced out of the markets. The cost and availability of phthalo blue and green pigments have been impacted. 3,3’-Dichlorobenzidine, which is used in the production of azo pigments, is also under scrutiny in China.
The new emphasis on environmental protection in China is justifiable, and purchasing executives at ink companies are going to have to factor in the environmental records of their suppliers in order to ensure a steady source of materials.
Speaking of China, ink manufacturers are also factoring in the vast potential of the Chinese ink and printing markets. With a population of 1.35 billion, or approximately 20% of the world’s population, China’s gross domestic product, per capita, has more than quintupled since 2000. The result is more buying power for the average Chinese citizen, which means more printing and packaging, and more ink.
In my report on The Chinese Ink Market, which starts on page 19, leading domestic Chinese and international ink manufacturers talk about the growth of the Chinese ink industry. As is the case throughout the world, the packaging ink market is the most robust segment, and China continues to offer strong potential for the ink industry.
Ink World Editor