Uncooked materials worth hike an additional burden for printers already struggling: Rajesh G

Rajesh G, Managing Partner of Rajsree Industrial Printer and Vice President (Central) of KMPA, explains how the recent increase in paper prices will affect printers already grappling with the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have all faced difficulties since March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation is particularly dire for printers doing commercial printing. We saw a slight improvement through October, mainly due to demand for printing calendars, diaries and cake boxes, etc., but we were hit again by December due to the increased cost of raw materials.

First, the market is already sluggish and sensitive due to the pandemic. In addition, the recent rise in raw material prices has proven to be an additional hurdle for the printing industry, especially for small and medium-sized customers.

This group of customers is very difficult to educate and think about the cause of the increase in the cost of raw materials and the subsequent increase in the cost of the finished product.

In general, two things happen when the cost of a printed product increases. First, we lose the customer because the customer is reluctant to agree to the price increase for the print product and declares that other printers are willing to carry out the job at the old price. Second, the printer himself has to accept the increase in raw material costs and is forced to deliver the printed product at the old price.

The price hike and shortage of paper and cardboard have given printers in Kerala’s neighboring states the opportunity.

Since the market has not been aggressive due to the Covid pandemic, the increase in the cost of print products has also resulted in a decrease in the volume of printing of the print product by customers.

During the ongoing pandemic, most commodity traders have stopped delivering materials on credit, which in turn has forced printers to ask customers to make advance payments or make instant payments. However, due to the increased cost of raw materials, the cost of printed matter has also increased, but printers are forced to provide loans to ensure customers’ continued printing jobs. These aggregate the printer’s problems.

I am of the opinion that in the future such important issues relating to the printer brotherhood must be taken up and discussed by the national and state printing associations, and that broad publicity must be provided in all media for the benefit of the printing industry.