September 27, 2018 By PrintAction Staff
Flint Group has announced price increases on all offset inks and coatings in North America, saying that in this final 2018 quarter, the print industry continues to face relentless raw material shortages, worsening supply chain conditions, and new disruptions.
“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.
1. U.S. tariffs against China. “These tariffs affect a number of key materials used in printing inks,” he says. The recently imposed tariffs are 10 percent effective immediately, and will increase to 25 percent in January.
2. Increased freight costs. “The trucking industry has faced driver shortages for years,” Podd says. “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.”
3. 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,” he says.
4. European REACH regulations. The recent reclassification of certain energy-curable-related materials has, he explains, led “suppliers in Europe and beyond to look for alternative materials. Unfortunately, the alternative materials come at a much higher cost.”
All this hits an already-strained raw material supply chain, still reeling from the unintended consequences of China’s ‘Blue Skies‘ initiative and drastic supply shortages, he notes.
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