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Inks Market: Manufacturers Need to Focus on Production of Environment-benign Ink

Digitalization has been transmuting the way people approach printing materials, and several reports show that it is not a favorable approach for the global inks market. According to a report published by Transparency Market Research (TMR), the growth of the inks market is anticipated to remain sluggish during the forecast period, as masses are seen adopting digital inks and media over the water and solvent-based ones.

Also, the negative impact of solvent based inks posed by high VOC emissions has led to legislation on the permissible limits of these inks, which could instigate a shift of end users from solvent-based inks to other forms; however, digital ink will remain highly preferable. On the contrary, the demand for inks from traditional applications such as tattooing is projected to remain steady, which could dwindle the impact of critical challenges that have been limiting the growth of the inks market.

inks market infographic

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Manufacturers Move the Needle towards Development of UV-curable Inks

Analysts of TMR’s study on the inks market find that, partnerships with the market players in the packaging industry can turn into a growth-hack strategy, given the high-value share contributed by this industry. According to our research, in 2019, the global packaging industry will invest ~US$ 6.4 Bn in the inks market for printing labels. However, some manufacturers may show reluctance toward adoption, given the strict scrutiny of central authorities towards unsustainable packaging products.

To continue gaining revenue from the packaging industry, players in the inks market are seen extending their R&D activities beyond their current approach of production towards the development of VOC-free inks. Besides this, the governments of numerous countries are also participating in the development of an environment-friendly inks landscape. For instance, the European Union (EU) has announced increased funding for the Ecopaint Bio-based Formulations (ECOBIOFOR) project, which works for the development of sustainable paints, coatings, and inks, and offers green solutions to end-use industries.

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Currently, the development of UV-curable inks has been aiding inks market players in aligning with environmental norms, and offers high productivity in a stipulated time with a significant reduction in pollution, energy consumption, and waste. Since UV-curing inks contain no solvents that can evaporate, no environmental pollutants are emitted, which makes them ideal for use in the packaging industry.

Inks Market: New Entrants Playing by the Environmental Book to Outperform their Global Counterparts

The inks market lacks the dominance of a single player that could push the envelope of the entire industry; however, diversified players from small-, medium-, and large-scale businesses collectively account for propelling the steady movement of the inks market.

Market majors - Sun Chemicals, Flint Group, Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co., Ltd., and Sakata INX Corporation - hold ~54% of the market share, and their streamlined supply and distribution networks project their leap in regions with high demand for inks. These players are also spectated making high investments in R&D activities to stay relevant in the evolving inks market.

Since arriving at the price-point of inks decided by market players could become a pain-point for end users, new entrants leverage sales opportunities by diversifying their portfolios with low-cost products. As these players lack a global distribution chain, they tend to produce less-VOC-emitting or VOC-free inks to establish their brand and compete with global players.

inks market segmentation

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Inks Market: Analysts’ Viewpoint

Authors of the report opine that the inks market will grow at a pedestrian CAGR of ~3% during 2019-2027. Adherence to environmental guidelines will be unavoidable for market players, as the threat of end-use industries scrambling towards digital alternatives of inks is likely to encourage the green movement.

Asia Pacific is projected to remain a leading force in the global inks market during the forecast period, given the presence of cash-oriented economies, which drives the mass adoption of inks in the security paper sector. In addition, the popularity of tattoos as a means of self-expression among the millennial demography is projected to upkeep the demand for inks from the non-printing industry in the region. 

Inks Market: Description

  • Ink is a liquid or a paste containing pigments or dyes used to produce an image, design, or text. Inks are composed of basic building blocks, specifics of which are modified depending upon the process, substrate, and end use.
  • Industries such as packaging, textiles, and others are projected to expand at a steady pace, owing to rapid urbanization in emerging countries of Asia Pacific, coupled with rise in the middle class population. Increase in packaging and commercial printing applications in urban as well as semi-urban areas, globally, is expected to contribute significantly to the overall growth of the inks market.
  • The popularity of tattoos is increasing, and more than 100 million young adults are said to have at least one tattoo across the globe. This factor is driving the demand for tattoo inks, as such booting the inks market.

What are Key Growth Drivers of the Inks Market?

  • Packaging addresses both, consumers’ basic needs and issues related to their quality of life. It provides consumers with varied information that can be of crucial importance to their health: the degree of freshness and ripeness, color, shelf life, ingredients, and nutritional values. Printing ink is used on the packaging of all products.
  • Inks are also utilized for printing on flexible and rigid materials. Thus, rise in the preference for packaging for food & beverages, labels, tags, and corrugated board packaging is estimated to propel the growth of the inks market. 

 What are Major Challenges for the Inks Market?

  • Crude oil is utilized as a primary raw material in organic solvents. The prices of final products, such as ink products, are affected by volatility in the prices of crude oil. Fluctuation in the prices of crude oil and rise in awareness about the impact of petroleum-based solvents have compelled most solvent manufacturers to use bio-based products.
  • Volatility in the prices of raw materials can significantly hamper the inks market, as it can adversely affect the production and consumption of inks.

Lucrative Opportunities in the Global Inks Market

  • Industries such as packaging, textiles, publications, and others have stringent requirements for inks products. This is expected to fuel the demand and adoption of high-level products that require intense R&D activities and product innovation in lithography inks. Manufacturers have significantly improved their response time for such custom requirements from clients. This trend is anticipated to gain traction across the global market, offering lucrative opportunities to manufacturers in the inks market in the near future.
  • The high demand for eco-solvent-based inks for use in packaging, textile, advertising, and promotion applications offers lucrative opportunities for the manufacturers of inks. 

Asia Pacific to Dominate Inks Market

  • In terms of demand, Asia Pacific dominated the global inks market in 2018, due to the presence of a large number of manufacturers of food & beverages and personal care products in the region. Asia Pacific has a rapidly expanding marketing and commercial printing industry.
  • The packaging industry in North America is a leading customer of printing inks. The region also has a large number of players in the printing inks industry. This factor is driving the inks market in North America. 

Oil-based Formulating Technology to Account for a Prominent Market Share

  • Based on formulating technology, oil-based was the dominant segment of the global inks market in 2018. It is likely to maintain its dominance during the forecast period. The oil-based segment is projected to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Vegetable oils are used in oil-based inks. Moreover, lithographic printers utilize these inks, as they are readily available in art supply stores in small-sized tubes.
  • The solvent-based segment also held a key share of the global inks market in 2018 Solvent-based inks are relatively inexpensive. These inks provide more resistance to chemicals and mechanical & external stresses as compared to water-based inks. Solvent-based inks are extensively used in the printing of products meant for the outdoors, as these inks possess the ability to adhere to non-absorbent materials. 

Packaging Application to Account for a Key Market Share

  • Among the applications, the packaging segment held a major share of the global inks market. The segment is anticipated to expand at a rapid pace during the forecast period. Digital printing is expected to gain momentum in the packaging sector due to its increased adoption in various companies. Digital printing enables companies to custom-print graphics on their products and make them more appealing to consumers.
  • The rigid sub-segment dominated the packaging segment, and is projected to expand rapidly in the near future, due to the increasing demand for consumer goods, improving rate of packaging recycling, and low costs of rigid plastic packaging.

 Leading Players Actively Engage in Joint Ventures and R&D Activities

  • Key players operating in the global inks market include:
    • Sun Chemicals
    • Flint Group
    • Toyo Ink SC Holdings Co., Ltd.
    • Sakata INX Corporation
    • Siegwerk Druckfarben AG & Co. KGaA
    • Huber Group.
  • In February 2018, Sun Chemical acquired Luminescence Holdings Ltd., a manufacturer of currency, tax stamps, passports, ID cards, secure documents, and brand protection inks for the security industry. This acquisition is anticipated to increase the company’s market share in the security industry.
  • In March 2018, Sun Chemicals was awarded a contract by the Blackmore Group, a newspaper and commercial printer, to supply the latter with conventional offset, LED, and cold-set inks for the next three years.

In December 2017, Flint Group acquired Eston Chimica SRL, a manufacturer of water-based inks for flexographic and gravure applications, based in Padova, Italy. The acquisition follows Flint Group’s strategy to expand through strategic acquisition

Global Inks Market: Scope of the Report

TMR’s recent publication on the inks market provides audiences with an overall market outlook, with the help of comprehensive assessment of the global market scenario. TMR’s study on the inks market analyzes the industry with respect to the historical and current market scenario, which offers a forecast for the period of 2019 to 2027.

Report readers are able to make important decisions pertaining to their business with a wealth of information and exclusive inks market insights enclosed in the study. The inks market report also provides an in-depth understanding of the key industry trends and developments made by companies. This TMR report is divided into different sections that allow readers to gain an individual understanding of the inks market.

Key Queries Addressed in the Report

  • How much revenue is the inks market expected to generate by the end of the forecast period?
  • Which type of ink is likely to generate the highest revenue by 2027?
  • What are the key growth indicators and market dynamics that are expected to drive the inks market in the next five years?
  • Which regions are estimated to provide lucrative opportunities for the inks market?
  • What are the essential strategies incorporated by key inks market players in an attempt to expand their geographical presence?

The first section in the TMR report on the inks market begins with a premise that includes the report scope, market segmentation, and research highlights. This is followed by the executive summary that emphasizes the inks market aspects covered in the study. This section provides a brief understanding of the market elements, and enables readers to understand the aspects covered in the study. The report also includes market dynamics that offer an understanding of the market drivers, restraints, and opportunities.

The next section includes an extensive segmentation analysis of the inks market. This evaluation includes the division of the inks market segments based on type, formulating technology, application, and region. Furthermore, an analysis of these key segments, year-on-year growth projections, and basis point share analysis are included in the report. These help readers identify promising market growth areas.

The TMR study on the inks market offers an assessment of the geographical landscape of the market. Regional study helps market competitors make important decisions pertaining to their business. Individualized, country-wise, and segment-wise analysis pertaining to individual regions helps readers decipher the potential of the market in various geographies. Supported by year-on-year growth projections and global value and volume share, this section is a vital part of the report.

The study on the inks market offers a holistic competitive value judgment, with details of leading and emerging market players. The dashboard view of competitors in the inks market report allows readers to understand their business and strategies, along with their performance.

Global Inks Market - Research Methodology

The TMR report on the inks market is based on detailed estimation of the market, with inclusion of comprehensive primary and secondary research inputs. Detailed investigation of the inks market in terms of competitive scenario is supported by an individual-level examination of different avenues related to the industry. Furthermore, for secondary research, analysts scrutinized numerous annual report publications, white papers, industry association publications, and company websites to obtain the necessary understanding of the inks market. This helps TMR’s analysts derive crucial predictions and forecast analysis of the inks market. Readers can access the inks market study to gain a forecast market analysis for the period of 2019 to 2027.

Global Inks Market: Segmentation



  • Lithographic
  • Sheetfed Offset
  • Heatset Offset
  • Coldset Offset
  • Gravure
  • Flexographic
  • Screen
  • Digital
  • Letterpress
  • Inkjet
  • Others (Including Analog Printing Inks, etc.)


  • Writing
  • Stamping
  • Tattoos

Formulating Technology





Others (Electron Beam (EB) Curable, Latex, Infrared Cured, Rubber-based Inks, etc.)



  • Flexible
  • Rigid

Publication & Commercial


Ceramic Tiles

Tags & Labels




North America

South America

Asia Pacific


Middle East & Africa

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Inks Market

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