Flint Group is to increase the prices of its packaging inks from the 1st January 2018, which the company blames on increased raw material costs.
Flint says that it has seen price inflation in polyethylene and polyethylene resins, titanium dioxide, pigments, key solvents, glycerin and MMAs. Flint cites a number of causes for this, including the closure of several pigment production facilities in China, which are awaiting environmental inspection. The company says that there are shortages in key solvents and in Titanium Dioxide, which is used for white pigment, adding that it expects glycerine prices next year to be 80-90% higher than in 2017. This in turn affects the cost base of both solvent-based and water-based inks and coatings.
Doug Aldred, president of Flint’s Packaging Inks division, explains: “Despite our tenacious efforts to mitigate these dynamics by deploying significant capital to efficiency projects, cost pressure has been utterly relentless. The situation now necessitates that we pass some increases through the supply chain. Product quality and consistency are essential for our customers which is why we will continue to prioritise efficiency improvements so they can assuredly rely on us moving into the New Year.”
This follows a similar announcement last week from Sun Chemical that it too is planning to increase prices on liquid inks and coatings for flexible packaging for its customers across all regions, effective 1 January 2018. The exact price increases will vary across product lines but is expected to be high single digits of percentages. Sun Chemical listed the same reasons as Flint, including environmental restrictions in China.
Felipe Mellado, chief marketing officer for Sun Chemical, commented: “We work proactively with our supply chain partners to manage and minimise costs, but due to the economic reality, cost pressures have been constant and significant price increases are being passed on to the inks industry. To ensure we maintain high levels of product quality and service, it has become necessary to increase customer prices.”