Chinese factory fire hits ink supply chain

A recent and deadly explosion at Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical in China is severely impacting the global raw material supply chain, including materials used in publication and UV printing inks.

There have been several ink price rises in the past year, with the explosion set to add more insecurity.

The March explosion spread to adjacent facilities, causing nearly 80 deaths, injuring hundreds of people and forcing thousands of evacuations of nearby areas. The Chinese government has forced shut-downs at the industrial park, as well as others nearby, to allow for investigations and safety inspections.

Ink supplier Flint Group warns that such a catastrophic event will have ripple on effects for the whole supply chain of raw materials used for ink production.

Arno de Groot, vice president, Procurement, Flint Group Packaging, explains, “Thousands of factories have already been shut down. Government investigations and safety inspections will impact the total chemical industry in China and will not be limited to the province where the accident happened.”

The impact has reached UV and publication printing ink supply chains, as the closures affect companies that supply materials for photoinitiators and for red and yellow pigments.

Flint Group says the raw material shortage will not affect ink supply for its customers, and that its preferred status with partner suppliers helps to minimise supply chain disruptions, even during unforeseen crises.

Re-open dates for the shuttered raw material facilities remain unknown.

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