Raw material shortage for UV inks and possible supply disruption


May 9, 2018

Currently, there is a specific global raw material shortage affecting UV curing inks. This impacts supply of a UV photoinitiator commonly known as “TPO.” While supply of TPO comes from several different manufacturers, a key chemical feedstock used in the manufacture of TPO (and other similar photoinitiators) comes from one main upstream source in China. The manufacturing of this feedstock has been temporarily halted while inspections are undertaken due to an unrelated incident in the same industrial zone. This incident comes within the wider context of similar unplanned shut downs of UV raw material capacity in China and a tighter regulatory environment in Europe limiting alternative options.

This supply disruption means that the feedstock cannot be produced at present and supplies are now at critically low levels globally, which has impacted the availability and production of TPO itself. We anticipate the situation will be resolved in a matter of weeks but are taking actions to cover our supply in the meantime. Please note that this is an industry-wide shortage affecting all UV ink manufacturers.

As the world’s leading ink supplier, we have secured a quantity of existing TPO material as well as suitable alternative materials. We are working very closely with our suppliers to establish visibility of the recommencement of supply which we expect to be within the next 4 weeks or sooner, although the impacts may last several months longer. In order to manage materials, it may be necessary to offer inks formulated with alternative materials at short notice. You will be advised when this is necessary. We will need your collaboration to validate these inks rapidly to maintain service levels. We will make our best attempt 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 TPO material 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 resolve the situation and avoid any supply disruptions. We will keep you informed of the progress of our actions over the next days and weeks.




Felipe Mellado
CMO & Board Member

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About Sun Chemical
Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC group, is a leading producer of printing inks, coatings and supplies, pigments, polymers, liquid compounds, solid compounds, and application materials. Together with DIC, Sun Chemical has annual sales of more than $7.5 billion and over 20,000 employees supporting customers around the world.

Sun Chemical Corporation is a subsidiary of Sun Chemical Group Coöperatief U.A., the Netherlands, and is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, U.S.A. For more information, please visit our Web site at



Heather Buchholz
Sun Chemical
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