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Industrial Ink – What’s Happening with Raw Materials

Raw materials used for making industrial ink have been mostly stable in pricing in recent years, but that’s expected to change some. Since raw materials are the key elements used in manufacturing industrial ink and are currently in short supply, prices will likely rise. One of the reasons for the rising prices include Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana in the United States.

Texas and Louisiana are two of the largest chemical producers in the United States, so the impact from Hurricane Harvey has substantially affected production this year. This devastating hurricane caused extreme flooding in these two states, therefore their chemical industry (deeply integrated into their communities) was hit the hardest being along the coast. The US Department of Energy has announced that five of their chemical refineries are to remain closed, six are restarting, and seven are operational, but at a reduced rate.

Since the raw materials used to create chemicals are made in these refineries, prices are increasing and will continue to do so, just like fuel prices, until all the refineries are operational and at complete capacity.

Materials Affected

TiO2 (Titanium Dioxide)

This is one of the most important pigments used in daily life. It’s used in sunscreen, toothpaste, paints, chewing gum, and white industrial inks and coatings. Besides the issue of Hurricane Harvey’s effect on the United States and production of this chemical, China is restricting production due to concerns over air quality. Additionally, Finland has restricted production of TiO2 for graphic arts. These reductions in production are causing titanium dioxide to be costlier, which will also cause a rise in prices for many other products in which it’s used, including industrial inks.

Concerns about carcinogens in the nanoparticles (if inhaled) of TiO2 are also putting a halt on production across the globe. Further review, research, and studies could cause this to go on for several months to years. However, the TDMA (Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers’ Association) claims there has been no link between TiO2 and cancer established or proven.

Other materials that are connected to crude oil, propylene, and ethylene are causing an impact on carbon black and special industrial ink solvents. This also impacts the cost of pigments and additives used in this industry.

Technically, the price increases will occur across the board in the industrial ink markets. UV-based inks are in short supply as are the raw materials used to make yellow and red azo pigments, PCN blue pigments, and DCB for yellow because of the low supply of bon acid.

The Future Outlook

Chemical companies in Europe, like the fire at Shell and the fire at BASF in Germany have further affected the impact of higher prices in raw materials and the chemicals needed to manufacture industrial inks, coatings, paints, and other related solvents.

It is believed that the price increases will be temporary and will eventually balance out in the coming year. Right now, the materials are in ample supply, but the risk due to lack of production is causing the fallout of higher prices.  Experts are recommending careful management of resources and purchases over the next year for manufacturers and suppliers of industrial inks and solvents.

A reputable Industrial Ink manufacturer in Europe would be Needham Ink.

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