Chinese Trade Restrictions Benefiting Some American Ink Manufacturers
September 29, 2020 – New York On May 10, of this year the U.S. hiked tariffs on Chinese goods worth $200 billion from 10% to 25%, jeopardizing a trade deal that was being negotiated by the two countries. Aside from auto manufacturing, big tech, and agriculture one of the US manufacturing sectors turning the tables are inks and coatings. With the decrease in product imports from China, Americans have increased buying home grown goods, one being printing ink. The likes of HP, Mutoh of America and Mimaki have been hurt the most as their ink related products are mostly manufactured in China where the addition of US Customs regulations have slowed deliveries and forced an increase in prices. On the flip side, American ink manufacturers like STS Inks of Boca Raton FL (www.stsInks.com) have filled in the supply gaps left by their Asian counterparts with a dependable supply with reduced pricing. Perhaps US consumers are now realizing they can consistently find exceptional quality for less at home. Not all US ink manufacturers are created equal. Sun Chemical cited higher carbon black, oil, and pigment costs as it announced price increases on offset inks, coatings, and consumables across North America. Sun increased flexible packaging products pricing by high single digits, driven by higher raw material costs from China. The company pointed to production and environmental restrictions on key materials as well. Flint Group’s CPS Inks division (Commercial, Publication & Sheetfed Inks) announced that it will implement a global price increase of up to 9% on offset and publication gravure inks, coatings, and press room consumables. The company noted that higher raw material and customs regulatory costs have led to this increase. Siegwerk announced price increases for packaging ink and varnishes in December and in North and South America and Asia in May. The company also raised prices on publication gravure inks. Hubergroup announced that it will raise prices for all inks and coatings by 8%, effective with shipments in North America and South America beginning in early 2021. If the pandemic continues evolving across the world, Americans may have to depend solely on US based manufacturing outlets for their printer consumables, which doesn’t bode well for foreign imports, but may bolster the time-honored trend to simply “Buy American”.