Stuttgart, Germany – Recently, Flint Group announced price increases on conventional and UV sheetfed inks and coatings in Europe. Price increases vary by technology, reaching double digits for products most affected by intense raw material challenges.
“Raw material consolidation continues without pause,” says Tony Lord, Vice President / General Manager of Flint Group’s CPS Inks division. Meanwhile, continues Mr. Lord, “China’s ‘Blue Skies’ initiative continues to force raw material companies to shut down—often permanently.” Photoinitiators are a striking example of how China's program affects supply chain, as evidenced by EuPIA's recent information note on raw materials for UV inks under its Exclusion Policy (http://www.eupia.org/uploads/tx_edm/2018-07-24_Customer_Information_Note_UV_and_Exclusion_Policy.pdf ).
Mr. Lord makes clear that Flint Group has secured the raw materials needed to meet customers’ sheetfed ink demands. “We will continue to work closely with suppliers and help our customers mitigate the effects of these raw material trends.”
Even as we go to press, new raw material obstacles are coming to light, including those affecting products beyond the sheetfed segment. For example, unprecedented droughts throughout Europe are disrupting raw material suppliers’ ability to transport products, intensifying supply pressure on affected materials, such as solvents.
This latest issue adds to the “already-existing issues of limited crude production and increased freight costs,” says Mr. Lord, “which exacerbate the supply chain situation in all print market segments. We will continue to carefully monitor all trends and keep our customers informed.”