For the ink industry, 2017 was a busy year. In our annual North American Top 20 Companies Report, leading ink manufacturers discussed the issues they are facing. Raw materials were front and center in these discussions.
After a relatively stable period for key raw material ingredients, the past year has seen rising prices and pressure on availability for materials, driven by environmental and supply issues. This, in turn, has led major ink manufacturers to announce their own price increases. In the past three months, Sun Chemical, Flint Group, Siegwerk and hubergroup have announced significant price increases for inks. The industry has seen the following increases:
Sun Chemical cited higher carbon black, oil, and pigment costs as it announced price increases on offset inks, coatings and consumables beginning Feb. 15, 2018 across North America.
Sun Chemical increased flexible packaging products pricing by high single digits, driven by higher raw material costs. The company pointed to production and environmental restrictions on key materials, particularly in China, as well as TiO2.
Flint Group’s CPS Inks division (Commercial, Publication & Sheetfed Inks) announced that it will implement a global price increase of up to 9% on offset and publication gravure inks, coatings and pressroom consumables, effective March 1, 2018. The company noted that higher raw material and regulatory costs have led to this increase.
Flint Group Packaging raised prices globally as of Jan. 1, 2018.
Siegwerk announced price increases for packaging ink and varnishes in EMEA in December 2017, and in North and South America and Asia in February 2018. The company also raised prices on publication gravure inks in February 2018.
hubergroup announced that it will raise prices for all inks and coatings by 8%, effective with shipments in North America and South America beginning Feb. 12, 2018.
As these companies noted in their announcements, this is likely to be a continuing challenge for everyone in the ink supply chain, and we will likely to see more of this in the near future, whether it is announced or not.
North American Ink Sales
Global Ink Sales (Parent)
|1||Sun Chemical||$1,500*||$3,500 (Sun Chemical)**||1|
|2||Flint Group||$1,300*||$2,300 (Flint Group)||2|
|3||INX International||$400||$1,297 (Sakata INX)||3|
|5||Siegwerk||$200||$1,320 (Siegwerk Group)||5|
|7||DuPont Ink Jet||$175*||7|
|9||Hubergroup||$130||$925 (Huber Group)||10|
|10||Toyo Ink America||$125||$1,300 (Toyo Ink)||9|
|11||Fujifilm North America, GSD||$120||$400* (Fujifilm)||12|
|12||Sanchez SA de CV||$104*||11|
|15||SICPA Securink||$60*||$375* (SICPA Group)||15|
|15||Van Son||$60*||$130* (Royal Dutch Van Son)||15|
|* Ink World estimate|
|** Parent company DIC Corporation has global sales of $7.5 billion|