Around 4.3 billion, or 60% of the global population, is concentrated in Asia-Pacific (APAC), says the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA). This number is increasing rapidly, especially in China, India, South Korea, Japan, and Thailand. With population boom, the demand for food and beverages, pharmaceutical products, electronic gadgets, and everything else is surging. This is why the requirement for various packaging materials and products is consistently high at manufacturing plants. Now, an important aspect of packaging is the labels, which carry the product information, such as the manufacturing and expiry dates, batch number, ingredients, net quantity or weight, and price.
With the increasing popularity of this technique, the consumption of flexographic inks is rising faster than lithographic, gravure, digital, letterpress, fluorescent, magnetic, and metallic inks. This is because flexographic inks offer a large number of advantages over other materials, such as the ability to print in a wider range of colors and convenience of being used as oil-based as well as water-based formulations. Additionally, with these inks, the printing process becomes faster and non-absorbent material can be printed on. Oil is already the most popular formulation of these inks, which also includes solvent and water formulations, thereby further resulting in the preference for the flexography variants.
China is currently the largest APAC printing inks market, owing to its heavy usage of such materials, with the growth in the paper media and packaging sectors. Further, with the increasing literacy rate and urbanization levels, the demand for printing inks is rising further in the country. Another reason, perhaps the most important one, behind the high demand for such materials in China is the fact that it is the most-populated country in the APAC region, which naturally leads to a high requirement for various products.
In the coming years, the demand for packing solutions, and, in turn, inks, is expected to surge considerably in Indonesia and India, apart from China. This would be a result of the increasing number of people from rural areas making their way to cities in search of employment and a better life. The World Bank says that compared to 17.924% in 1960, 34.03% people in India were city dwellers in 2018. Echoing this finding, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs estimates the level of urbanization in Delhi at 97.5%.
Therefore, as more people move to the cities and their disposable income increases, so will the requirement for packaged products, which would drive the consumption of printing inks in APAC.