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The Asia-Pacific Ink Report
Hits:  UpdateTime:2011-08-02 09:50:50  【Printing】  【Close
Economic expansion continues to drive growth in the printing and ink industries.

The Asia-Pacific region is a major force in the printing industry, with the packaging and publication sides both enjoying strong growth. While the region did feel the impact of the global recession, the recovery has been stronger in the Asia-Pacific area.

The expansion in the printing industry has been keyed by the gains made in the export sector as well as the domestic market. China and India are the region’s strongest economies (China’ s ink market will be covered in-depth in the September/October issue of Ink World).

As a result of this growth, the Asia-Pacific region has become the world’s largest producer of printing inks. DIC Corporation, Toyo Ink, Sakata INX and Tokyo Printing Ink, four of the seven largest ink manufacturers, are headquartered in Japan, and have extensive operations throughout the region.

Meanwhile, Flint Group, Siegwerk and Huber Group, the other three of the seven largest ink companies, have major facilities in Asia-Pacific as well, with Huber Group being particularly successful in India as a result of its 2004 acquisition of Micro Inks.

As the global economy has recovered, ink industry executives reported that the past year has seen more growth in the region, particularly on the packaging side.

“Business in the region was generally good except Japan and Oceania,” said Hiroshi Nagai, general manager, corporate communications department, DIC Corporation. “In the area except Japan and Oceania, demand for packaging ink increased above all. Demand for news inks and inks for publishing also increased in that area, but the degrees of increase were not so high as that of packaging inks.”

“In Japan and Oceania, demand for packaging inks was moderate, but demand of inks for publishing and news inks were sluggish as a consequence of shrinking print runs for books, magazines and newspapers,” Mr. Nagai added.

“Demand for offset inks rebounded in China and Southeast Asia,” said Yu Adachi, corporate communications for Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co., Ltd. “In particular, in China, there was a surge in demand brought on by the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, and Toyo’s sales operations further spread to areas inland. Sales for gravure inks for packaging materials applications rose in China and the Asia-Pacific region, as did the demand for environmentally friendly inks. As for inkjet materials, demand in the second half slowed, but sales grew in markets such as South Korea.”

“In 2010, the demand was mostly for flexible packaging gravure inks that are applicable to food packaging,” said Kotaro Morita, director of Sakata INX Corp.

Vimal Mehra, managing director, Organic Coatings Ltd., reported that the major ink companies in India showed growth in top line turnover but had lower profitability due to rising raw material costs.

“The impact of huge price increase in rosins, resins, pigments, oils, titanium etc. affected the cost adversely,” Mr. Mehra said. “The ink industry in turn took two price increases in the year 2010. In June it was a 5% increase, and in December by 10%.

“The situation on the printers’ end was more or less the same as ink companies,” Mr. Mehra added. “Packaging, publication and commercial printing all saw a growth of 10%+. Increase in prices in paper and board twice in 2010 adversely impacted their profitability and the increase in inks and coatings could not even be passed on by them to the print buyers. The major printing associations in India have circulated information on cost increases to their member printers and have requested them to insist on price increases and not to fear the loss of business.”