Fujifilm latest to increase prices

Darryl Danielli
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Fujifilm is set to roll out a global double-digit price increase across plates, chemicals and inks, although the impact on UK printers is set to be minimised with the introduction of a lower, variable surcharge.

Aluminium prices have soared and can no longer be absorbed
Aluminium prices have soared and can no longer be absorbed

In a global statement issued this morning (28 April), Fujifilm said it would increase the price of its offset printing plates, processing chemicals, and analogue and digital inks on a global basis.

“The price will be increased by a double-digit percentage as of May 1st, 2021 and will differ depending on the region and the product,” it stated.

It cited “soaring” prices of raw materials, such as aluminium and silver, and freight costs, adding that the “magnitude of rising costs can no longer be sustained by the company”.

Following today’s formal notice, the group’s regional businesses will this week be contacting customers to detail how the new surcharges will impact them.

Fujifilm UK general manager Andy Kent said that while it is a global increase, there are regional variations and his UK team was hoping to contact customers as soon as possible. He also clarified that while the official statement said the increases were effective 1 May, this didn’t include a 30-day UK notice period, meaning the surcharges will actually come into force from 1 June.

While he didn’t want to be drawn on the specific details until all customers had been contacted, Printweek understands that the only double-digit increases facing UK printers are for certain processing chemicals and the surcharge will broadly equate to around 0.26p per sqm for 0.3mm gauge plates.

However, Kent confirmed that customers signed up to Fuji’s Platesense programme will be immune to the increase.

He added that for non Platesense customers the surcharge will still be offset by the increases in the scrap value of aluminum.

“So, while they might be seeing a rise in price, it’s not a rise in cost.”

Kent said the UK surcharge will also be under regular review to reflect constantly changing input costs, which closely track oil prices and the global economy, and volumes.

“We haven’t put prices up for years, we’ve been absorbing increases, but our hand has been forced,” he said.

“We’re definitely not the first to announce increases and we probably won’t be the last, it’s a really tough time for the whole industry.”

He also highlighted that while chemical and inks had also been exposed to similarly spiraling raw material price increases, there had also been issues around supply, which impacted costs, citing that its inks manufacturing business in Broadstairs, Kent, had received more than 30 force majeure notifications.

Fuji's announcement follows a similar proclamation by Agfa in March, resulting in the Belgian-headquartered group implementing increases of between 5% and 10% on 1 April.

In the UK, Agfa’s surcharge per square metre for analogue and digital offset plates, which came into force on 19 April, equated to 0.23p per sqm. Agfa UK said the surcharge would be reviewed quarterly.

Earlier this month, Kodak also launched a surcharge that would be kept under review. Printweek understands the Kodak surcharge was 0.2p per sqm.

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