Dark Clouds on the Horizon for the Printing Ink Industry
Brussels, 2011-07-05 – European producers of printing inks are ringing the alarm bells: with resources becoming increasingly scarce, costs continue to escalate to new record levels.
The producers of printing inks are concerned about staggering rises in commodity prices and very long delivery lead times. The main reasons for this are the worldwide increase in demand, and significantly reduced production capacities.
EuPIA, the European Printing Ink Association, explains, through its Executive Manager, Martin Kanert, that this affects the most common raw materials, such as titanium dioxide and gum rosin.
In 2010 the EuPIA members had to deal with average price increases of 10% per quarter for titanium dioxide. In the meantime these increases have reached up to 35% per quarter, and there is still no light at the end of the tunnel. Gum rosin has seen prices increase up to 400% in one year.
EuPIA notes that as a result of the economic crisis, raw material producers have drastically reduced their production capacities. Less profitable plants were closed and workforces reduced. The sudden revival of the global economy and the increasing demand from emerging countries mean that the orders now can’t be met.
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“The implementation of REACH has a double effect on the supply of raw materials,” says Martin Kanert. “On the one hand some commodities disappear off the market altogether, and on the other we see that raw material suppliers from outside Europe do not want to register, and would rather concentrate on their home markets, so the number of suppliers is now limited.”
Raw materials make up to 50% of the overall costs in the production of printing inks. It is therefore inevitable that these higher commodity prices and longer delivery times will have a major impact on the profitability and the resilience of the producing companies.
“The manufacturers in the sector remain proactive and concentrate their efforts on the demands of consumers and the increasingly stringent legislation on health and the environment,” explains Martin Kanert. “Manufacturers also make every effort to innovate products on the market that meet statutory requirements and the principles of sustainable development. Industry is concerned, however, that the pressure on margins will slow investment and innovation.”
Dr. Martin Kanert
Executive Manager of EuPIA
Tel.: +32 (0)2 676 74 84
Fax: +32 (0)2 676 74 90
 REACH is the European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use. It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances.