Raw material availability and the cost of raw materials for oil-based products, like ink, are likely to continue to be an issue as the supplier base narrows and refocuses capacity and investments to other industry segments.
India and China are adopting stricter environmental regulations on pigments and base chemicals manufacturing, which is leading to factory closures. In turn, this is reducing quantities available and increasing costs.
Although the price of oil is comparatively stable, refining capability for the solvents Flint Group uses is more restricted, leading to upward cost pressure. Transport costs are also rising, partially reflecting problems in obtaining drivers but also through truck utilization challenges due to lower customer transit volumes.
Michael Podd, chief procurement officer of Flint CPS Inks, comments, “Flint CPS Inks continues to manage the increasingly uncertain raw material situation through our established contracted priority supply of key raw materials. We also decrease our expenses annually through labor cost leadership, but in some fields it is impossible to completely mitigate these cost hikes, especially in a market that is seeing reduced demand.”
Fredrik Broman, EMEA web business director, adds, “Over the course of the last couple of years, ink manufacturers have seen significant raw material cost increases. These have so far been absorbed and only to a very moderate extent been passed into the supply chain, however to ensure we maintain high levels of product quality and service it has become necessary to increase customer prices.”
“Flint CPS Inks will work closely with our customers to manage through this price increase. They can be assured that they will continue to benefit from our preferred status with suppliers, which makes Flint CPS Inks best positioned to meet customer needs without sacrificing quality,” concludes Steve Dryden, CEO Flint CPS Inks.