According to Flint Group, photoinitiators, monomers and oligomers are the most affected, in great part due to the powerful domino effect of raw material manufacturer shutdowns in China. These shutdowns are the result of China’s “Blue Skies” initiative, officially known as “Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Air Pollution.”
“As the year has progressed,” says Mike Green, VP sales North America of Flint Group’s CPS Inks division, “the challenging supply chain for photoinitiators, monomers and oligomers has hit raw material suppliers harder than expected. Supply is tighter than ever, and, as a result, raw material costs have increased substantially.”
“Flint Group has secured all the raw materials we need to meet customers’ current needs,” added Green.
In some cases, alternative raw materials are available but, unfortunately, they come at a cost. In the case of photoinitiators, for example, “Flint Group is fully prepared to use proven alternative raw materials in our UV ink formulas,” said Green. “The identified alternatives to the existing UV photoinitiators are considerably more expensive, however, therefore we will avoid them unless absolutely necessary.”
Flint Group notes that they will continue to monitor all trends and keep customers informed. “We will do everything we can to minimize the impact of these ongoing raw material trends on our customers’ businesses,” Green said.