Further “reflections” from ink and blankets maker Flint anticipate more bad news – some of it obvious in today’s industry environment – on supply and prices.
In a new statement in which Flint CPS’ global commercial leadership team “reflect on challenging market conditions” warnings on the difficulties that go with supplying a diminishing market may throw up unintended questions about the future.
Commercial, publication and sheetfed inks president Tony Lord says both ink and print industries “continue to face numerous challenges surrounding rapidly increasing costs, increased demand for raw materials and shortages in local and international logistics and freight” on which the division has “worked tirelessly” to mitigate negative effects on customers.
Global sheetfed business director Nick Brannan talks of transport delays to be expected with the second stage of tightening Brexit regulations, while logistics have been strained worldwide.
The implication continues to be that quadrupled seafreight costs, exacerbated by a worldwide shortage of containers, pandemic-reduced manpower, and an “extremely competitive” market for raw materials, will be reflected in prices.
EMEA web inks business director David Fotheringham comments on the contraction of the European web industry, a common issue for publishers in most other parts of the world. “Now as we try to pull out of this situation the industry is beset by fresh challenges regarding increased distribution costs and shortages of critical materials,” he says, adding that the issues affect “the ink manufacturing industry in parallel with our customer base as we suffer from our supplier base restructuring to meet changing demand for their products”.
North American web sales vice president Jean Menard notes “similarities in the North American marketplace” where impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated contraction in demand in the newspaper segment. “The volume reduction in the printing sectors has a direct impact on ink manufacturing, with a continuation of increases in transporting costs and global material shortages that are unprecedented.
“As we are proceeding toward a timeline considered as volatile, it is essential for the sustainability of our industry we communicate in advance to our customer base any potential outcomes,” he concludes.