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Printing consumable market in AP facing challenges

Veronica C. Silva | Oct. 28, 2011
Industry achieved growth but IDC report notes slowdown in key markets in the region.

The market for printer consumables in the Asia Pacific region grew 0.29 percent sequentially in the second quarter to reach US$1.59 billion. But the industry is not without its share of challenges.

According to the International Data Corporation Asia/Pacific Quarterly Printer Consumables Tracker, Q2 2011, business was not that good from high growth economies like India, Indonesia and China, particularly as the government sector reduced purchases. Even then, the AP market grew by 8.65 percent year-on-year. 

The industry report also noted that compatible brands, or after-market brands - brands competing with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) supplies - contributed to nearly 20 percent of the total market valued at US$300 million. In key markets like India and China, the after-market brands contributed as much as 30 percent of the consumable market in terms of value.

In unit terms, the share of the after-market brands were higher at about 40 percent of total units shipped. In emerging markets like India, Indonesia and Thailand, these brands have a market share of more than 50 percent.

Market share  

"OEMs are now challenging after-market players on printing cost per page (CPP) to improve their connect ratio on machines in field. OEMs have launched printers with ink tank systems as well as economic consumables, which has reduced the CPP and initiated a war over market share particularly in inkjet business," said Pankaj Chawla, senior market analyst for peripherals research, IDC Asia/Pacific.

Among the economies, the IDC report said China is leading the way as most countries in the region are importing remanufactured cartridges, parts and toner powder from China.

IDC predicts a volatile after-market printing industry as a result of recent acquisitions. Clover Technologies Group, which specialises in environment-friendly solutions, including recycling and remanufacturing of imaging supplies, has recently acquired the TRS Group. The European manufacturer gives Clover access to manufacturing facilities of Sakaar Printing Design and Engineering located in India.

Meantime, Zemasch Corporation of Thailand has also acquired local operating unit of Taiwan-based Full Colour International to increase its market share in printer ink business.


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