Agfa to increase plate prices by up to 10%, plans surcharge in Europe

Jo Francis
Tuesday, March 23, 2021

UPDATED: Agfa has announced a big increase in plate prices worldwide in response to “soaring input costs”, which its European wing choosing to implement a surcharge instead of a price rise.

Agfa plates: price increase will be partly offset by the recycling value of used plates
Agfa plates: price increase will be partly offset by the recycling value of used plates

Earlier this month, Printweek revealed that the Belgian-headquartered group was considering strategic options for its Offset Solutions business, with CEO Pascal Juery describing current pricing levels in the printing industry as “not sustainable”.

In a statement issued today (23 March), Agfa said that it could not absorb the “magnitude” of rising prices, despite its own internal cost reductions. 

“Soaring input costs, particularly relevant to aluminium, energy and packaging materials, in combination with sharply rising freight rates due to global logistic constraints make price increases unavoidable.” 

As a result the price of Agfa’s offset plates will increase between 5% and 10%, effective from 1 April. 

“Despite internal cost reductions, the magnitude of rising prices is no longer sustainable. The price increase applied to our customers will be partly offset, as printers will benefit from higher aluminium prices when they recycle their used plates.

“Agfa’s customers highly value our continuous investment in advanced pre-press technology and related services – such as the ECO³ framework which stands for Economy, Ecology and Extra Convenience – which leads to substantial economic benefits in their print shop,” Agfa stated. 

Separately, Agfa has also announced an immediate price increase of more than 10% across its entire range of IdeaLine photo-tooling films, which are used in the production of printed circuit boards. This is also due to the increasing costs of production and raw materials, in this case silver.

UPDATE: Agfa's commercial printing operation in Europe is choosing to deal with the situation by implementing a surcharge, rather than a price increase. 

In a letter to customers, head of sales for Europe Eddie Williams said the surcharge would come into effect for orders placed from 19 April, and would be reviewed quarterly.

“Agfa does not take the decision to implement a surcharge lightly, we fully understand the competitive nature of our market. However, this is unavoidable if we are to continue delivering service, quality and innovation to our customers, while maintaining a sustainable business,” he said. 

The surcharge per square metre for analogue and digital offset plates, from April to June, will be 0.23p per sqm. 

“Our approach to introducing a surcharge and not passing on a price increase will enable you to recover a substantial portion of the surcharge from your aluminium scrap. This will also allow Agfa to review its material cost on a quarterly basis and adjust the surcharge as necessary.”

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