Epple boss: rising input costs 'destabilising entire printing value chain'

Jo Francis
Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Ink maker Epple has become the latest supplier to announce that it will be forced to implement price increases early next year.

Epple: economically strong printing industry is only possible if market prices are adequate
Epple: economically strong printing industry is only possible if market prices are adequate

The Germany-headquartered manufacturer said that supply chain conditions including raw materials, packaging and shipping had become “increasingly difficult”.

The firm stated: “To continue as an economically robust business within this cost structure, Epple Druckfarben AG will be increasing the prices of its sheetfed offset printing inks, coatings and printing chemicals on 1st February 2022.”

Stefan Schülling, executive board member for sales and finance, said the entire industry urgently needed to find answers to the current economic challenges.

“The increased costs of raw materials, including pigments and plant-based oils, the shortages in the upstream petrochemical supply chains, and the high shipping and packaging costs are destabilising the entire printing value chain,” he warned.

He said that Epple would not compromise on the quality of its “premium ‘Made in Germany’ printing inks”, and that meant raising the pricing across its portfolio of printing inks, coatings and printing chemicals was “an inevitable step”.

The likely percentage increase was not disclosed. Epple said its regional representatives would be contacting customers about the details in the next few weeks.

The firm’s sales partner in the UK is Pulse Printing Products, in which Epple has a 40% stake.

Epple’s product range includes standard process and special application offset inks, UV inks, and packaging inks suitable for direct food contact. It also makes varnishes and pressroom chemicals.  

“During the pandemic, Epple proved to be a highly stable, crisis-proof company that is capable of delivering. One reason for this is the targeted implementation of cost-reducing measures. These include internal process optimisations as well as searching for new procurement options,” Schülling added.

“However, this isn’t enough for our high-quality portfolio and to continue to operate profitably. We hope for an economically strong printing industry, which is only possible if market prices are adequate. This applies to printing inks, paper and of course, also to the finished print products.”

The firm’s history dates back to 1870 when a letterpress ink factory was established in Radebeul, near Dresden.

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