In mid May we published news from Sun Chemical relating to a specific global raw material shortage affecting UV curing inks, specifically supplies of UV photoinitiators.
Unfortunately, the manufacturing and supply of this feedstock has been further delayed due to inspections still ongoing regarding compliance with Chinese environmental regulations. Furthermore, this supply disruption is impacting several photoinitiators beyond our initial communication of TPO only.
This means that supplies of these photoinitiators are now at critically low levels globally, which is impacting our ability to manufacture and supply inks to our customers on a timely basis as stated within our service level agreements. We do not anticipate the situation will be resolved soon, in fact we expect the supply shortage will be a reality for at least the next two to three months. Please note that this is an industry-wide shortage affecting all UV ink manufacturers as reported earlier this week by the European Printing Inks Association (EuPIA).
As the world’s leading ink supplier, we continue to secure all volume available in the market as well as continue to work on qualifying suitable alternative materials. To manage materials effectively, it will continue to be necessary to offer inks formulated with alternative materials at short notice. You will be advised when this is the case. We will need your collaboration to validate these inks rapidly to maintain service levels to the best of our ability. We will make our best attempts to supply inks within the same specification and performance characteristics. Furthermore, we may also need to limit orders in excess of historical consumption. This situation is increasing the cost of remaining photoinitiator materials significantly and alternative materials are also affected.
We understand that this issue may cause concern and we assure you that we are doing everything possible to continue to resolve the situation and avoid any supply disruptions. We will continue to keep you informed of the progress of our actions over the coming months.