Flint hikes European packaging ink prices on raw material woes
This follows a similar move by Sun Chemical, to raise its North American ink tariffs by a fifth from the beginning of next year - citing rising raw material costs as the trigger.
Flint’s Packaging and Narrow Web business said continuing soaring costs for key pigment violet 23 had spurred its announcement to raise European ink prices containing the substance from 15 December, 2010.
The company said the entire printing industry had been “facing extremely challenging raw material markets” throughout 2010, resulting in rising ink prices. This trend has continued in the last few weeks when the price of the violet 23 pigment was once again pushed up significantly on tightening supply, it added.
“During the past 12 months we have been fighting dramatic cost increases for this product of up to 70 per cent,” said company global marketing & business development director Jens Zimmermann. “Further increases are expected.”
He added that the main cost driver for Violet 23 was the reduced availability of the key material for this pigment, carbazole, which is mainly produced in China and India.
“Flint Group is working with leading pigment suppliers to manage this situation and thus lessen the cost impact”, said Zimmermann.
The company signalled that the upward trend was likely to spill over into next year on further rising costs for raw materials, energy and transport.
“Even for 2011 raw materials will remain a major concern, resulting in further issues with extended lead times, severe shortages and short shipments, thus driving costs up further,” cautioned the firm.
The move by Flint follows the decision by Sun Chemical last week to raise the price of all products containing violet 23 by 20 per cent in North America, effective 1 January, 2011. The US-based company highlighted a supply shortage of carbazole and chloranil - key ingredients of the pigment in both China and Germany due to consolidation and increased demand.
“This imbalance in supply and demand with carbazole and choranil has led to the dramatic cost increases seen over the past year with further increases expected in 2011”, said Sun Chemical.