The supply of several important chemicals, including ingredients used in paints, coatings and printing inks has been severely restricted following a major incident in Jiangsu Province, China. An explosion and fire in March, which resulted in nearly 80 deaths and injuries to hundreds of people, spread to nearby facilities and led to a massive evacuation. The Chinese government has forced the shut-down of factories at the industrial park, as well as others nearby, to allow for investigations and safety inspections. The impact is affecting the paint and printing ink supply chains, with severe shortages of key components, such as preservatives for waterborne paints, photo-initiators for UV-inks and certain red and yellow pigments. It is not known when the closed factories will be able to re-open and what their future capacity for these raw materials will be in the near future.
Commenting on the situation, BCF CEO, Tom Bowtell: “Whilst we of course have huge sympathy for all those affected by the disaster, the situation in China may potentially have a long-term impact on our sector, and our member’s ability to supply finished paints, coatings and ink products to customers, due to lack of availability of several critical raw materials. We are monitoring the situation and will keep our members informed”.