For North American ink manufacturers, 2016 was in many ways similar to 2015. There were growth markets – packaging, digital and UV, to name three – and segments that are on the decline – publication and commercial. These changes have been going on for the past five years, and likely will continue for the foreseeable future.
The effects of the evolution of printing are clearly seen in this year’s North American Top 20 Report. The ink industry executives we spoke with talked about the shifts in the printing business. Companies that focus their attention on packaging and on inkjet are thriving.
The three largest ink manufacturers in North America – Sun Chemical, Flint Group and INX International Ink Co. – now have significant positions in digital printing. Flint Group joined the inkjet market at the end of 2015 by acquiring Xeikon, a major producer of digital printing presses as well as toner. These three companies are now able to help their customers navigate the evolving printing landscape.
Raw material supply and availability have been major issues for ink manufacturers for the past six years, and 2015 was a very different year in that regard. If anything, the dramatic decline in crude oil costs was a help, although the impact of oil prices on key ink ingredients was not as significant as one might have expected.
However, the large shift in currency, with the dollar strengthening against the euro and the yen, has impacted costs of raw materials and ink import and exports. It is a recent dynamic, and for ink industry executives, another issue to watch closely.
Overall, ink industry leaders said that 2015 was a solid year, and 2016 should bring more growth. We will see whether these predictions will hold true as the year progresses.
North American Ink Sales
Global Ink Sales (Parent)
|1||Sun Chemical||$1,500*||$3,500 (Sun Chemical)**||1|
|2||Flint Group||$1,000*||$2,900 (Flint Group)||2|
|3||INX International||$375||$1,340 (Sakata INX)||3|
|5||Siegwerk||$200||$1,330 (Siegwerk Group)||5|
|7||DuPont Ink Jet||$175*||6|
|8||American Ink & Coatings||$130||10|
|9||Toyo Ink America||$125||$1,410 (Toyo Ink)||12|
|10||Hostmann-Steinberg||$120*||$1,020 (Huber Group)||8|
|12||Sanchez SA de CV||$111||9|
|13||Fujifilm North America, GSD||$90*||$375* (Fujifilm)||13|
|16||SICPA Securink||$60||$400* (SICPA Group)||17|
|16||Van Son||$60*||$130* (Royal Dutch Van Son)||17|
* Ink World estimate.
** Parent company DIC Corporation has global ink sales of $6.71 billion.