Explosion at Chinese chemical company to affect ink supply chain

Explosion to affect the worldwide UV and publication ink supply chain


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

The March explosion at Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical spread to adjacent facilities, causing nearly 80 deaths. Hundreds of people were injured forcing thousands to evacuate nearby areas. The Chinese government forced shut-downs at the industrial park, as well as others nearby, to allow investigations and safety inspections.

“Our hearts go out to the loved ones of those hurt or killed,” said Michael Podd, chief procurement officer of Flint Group’s CPS Inks business.

Arno de Groot, vice president procurement for Flint Group Packaging said, “Thousands of factories are 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 catastrophic 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.

Podd noted that the raw material shortage will not affect ink supply for Flint Group’s customers. “Our preferred status with our partner suppliers helps us minimize supply chain disruptions, even during unforeseen crises like this one.”

He added, “Our customers can rely on us for an uninterrupted supply of inks. Now these raw materials will come at a higher cost due to the supply/demand imbalance this event has caused.”

The dates for reopening of the shuttered raw material facilities remain unknown.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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