“The strongest raw material headwinds we face today can be grouped into four categories,” says Michael Podd, chief procurement officer of Flint Group’s CPS Inks division:
- The U.S. tariffs against China: “These tariffs affect a number of key materials used in printing inks,” Podd said. The recently imposed tariffs are 10% effective immediately, and will increase to 25% in January;
- Increased freight costs: “The trucking industry has faced driver shortages for years,” Podd said. “The situation has worsened over time and is exacerbated now by equipment shortages and increased fuel costs. All modes of transportation have increased in cost;”
- Increased costs of raw materials, including crude: “Recent increases in crude costs have caused many raw material costs to rise significantly. Carbon black, pigments oils and solvents are just some of the materials impacted by this situation,” Podd said;
- European REACH regulations: The recent reclassification of certain energy-curable-related materials has, Podd explained, led “suppliers in Europe and beyond to look for alternative materials. Unfortunately, the alternative materials come at a much higher cost.”
“Flint Group will work closely with our customers to manage through this price increase and to benefit from our preferred status with suppliers, which makes Flint Group best positioned to meet customer needs without sacrificing quality,” said Mike Green, VP of sales for Flint Group’s North America offset inks.