Flint Group has announced that a recent and deadly explosion at Jiangsu Tianjiayi Chemical in China has severely impacted the global raw material supply chain, including materials used in publication and UV printing inks.

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.

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

The impact has reached UV and publication printing ink supply chains, as the closures affect companies that supply materials for photo-initiators and for red and yellow pigments. Arno de Groot, vice president Procurement for Flint Group Packaging, says, “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 catastrophic accident happened.”

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

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

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

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