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Is photo paper price rising?


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@andrewcl, you're JOKING, right?  Why would they want to get out a market where they have no competition and get into another, with lower profit margins and more competition?

Here in the U.S. where the dollar is sh__ right now, prices are set to go up all of 7% for Fuji paper, so whoever is quoting 20%, unless your currency dropped significantly in the last quarter, it's a marginal cost increase.

Since there's no shortage of silver (if anything there is a glut, paper consumption I read today of silver halide is down FIFTY PERCENT from 2003) price for a troy ounce of silver should be falling right now.

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The 7% increase probably doesn't even cover the Japanese Yen's gains on the U.S. Dollar, or the spike in the spot price of a troy ounce of silver.

Granted Fuji can produce RA-4 Paper domestically in the United States now taht they have a facility in South Carolina, but still, those two factors have got to actually lose them money overall.

I would hardly say "the sky is falling."  Kodak's inkjet-pushing CEO expected RA-4 paper to be GONE by now, in fact I think it was a year ago.  Despite continuing inroads and a barrage of aggressive salesmanship, the smart labs don't want to give their customers further reason to plug in an Epson at home.

If we cannot even give our customers a superior-quality product, why get out of bed in the morning?  I notice that COST is the only thing I hear on here.  I never hear attacks made on RA-4s real weakness:  high stain compared to any inkjet product, dingier whites.

All I hear about is efficiency, ease of use, lack of skill.  Where is the PASSION for your work?  It's like some of us in this community have had the one side of their brain give up, but the other just blindly follows along with different industry trends, bleeding money on capital investments left and right while the profits continue to drop.

I am biased and I am 100% in favor of RA-4 paper, so it is in my best interest to play up its strengths, because I don't want the market to self destruct, but what reason to use a TEMPORARY INCREASE in the price of silver (Kodak's silver surcharges show the company wants nothing to do with raising prices, and wants to, for the first time in the company's history perhaps,  REDUCE them when silver prices return to normal and investors buy hogs or soybeans or copper or BBLs or crude oil) as an excuse to spend MORE MONEY on more finicky equipment with the lifespan of a laptop computer?

Prices, I am guestimating would have to rise SEVENTY percent, not seven to bring the current price of professional RA-4 materials up to the level of inkjet.  That's not including utility bills, but it's not including equipment with planned obsolescence built right in either.

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I'll agree with you that inkjet is a new thing, and that is all.

If you are likening RA-4 to a train, then you are doing it a favor, even in this country of painfully slow locomotion.  Trains are, by far, some of the cheapest means of moving goods from point A to point B on the dry land.

As for staff, there used to be. . . a lot more of it.  Now everyone is eager to give their every last cent (and then some from what their credit will allow them to borrow) to the same people that put said employees out of the job.

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Trains are, by far, some of the cheapest means of moving goods from point A to point B on the dry land.
If you read what I wrote... I said a steam train  ;) Smelly, expensive to run, lots to go wrong, lots of maintenance, need skilled staff.... but they do look pretty  :)
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Spent the day at my customer setting up colour enhancing workflow from Kodak kiosks and Photoshop/scans other input devices etc. to his D-lab2. His paper whites are in top condition and the results were sparkling and with the integrated icc, profiling , prints are better or equal than inkjet and at a fraction of the cost. His machine has been paid for for over three years now and  they have integrated photobooks, and other services as well. Oh, by the way they have been doing maintenance on all their equipment every Thursday since I installed their first lab in 1992.

Over the years this has been the best maintained outlet and the results paid. Their maintenance cost and running cost is a fraction of their Profit. Problems on the lab and other devices/inkjet/Pc's, Rip SW, servers are maintained remotely reducing cost as well. The chemicals we supply are Odour Free  - no smell.

Silver prices are higher than usual and good paper with higher dmax will have/should have a higher silver content?. Pricing will be effected in this way?

All things will change in time, plan your work and work your plan.

Just some thoughts.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...
Is photo paper price rising very high soon? My supplier warned me it's the beggining of the end regarding the photopaper due to .. Silver market. Inkjet printert will overcome the chemical labs.

Yes, it is getting high prices nowadays. Better to have digital photo frames so there will no need to print it out. :o

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Production of paper continued and many manufacturers didn't figure on demand dropping as much as it has. There is plenty of stock of paper out there that suppliers are very keen to shift. The scare-mongering is coming from suppliers who have lab quotas to fill. Shop around at places like Jeff Scowan, etc. They are 'traders' who seem to be picking up deals and passing on good prices. Too often labs are blinkered and think they need to stay with main-stream suppliers. JMHO  :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to chime in. . .

THere's been a recovery, but the BOTTOM may be falling out on silver speculation.  If anything demand for silver has taken a huge drop.  The photographic industry used to be the #1 consumeer (counting x-ray, movie, graphics etc too), and that is now less than 1/2 of its peak in 1999.

Remember what happened to crude oil when all the futures came due and the speculators and investors and hedge funds didn''t want 55 U.S. gallon drums of the stuff showing up at the office?

While not the same level of inconvenience, 1,000 troy oz. bars of silver are NOT the end designs of these funds, it's short term profits.

For comparison, while it's $29 1/8 or so per ozt today, silver was at $FOUR and change ten ears ago9, yet at a time with arguable some of the highest demand ever due to the demand for silver-halide material.

Even $29 is welcome relief from $42 we hit this year.  Silver is a precious metall, don't get me wrong, but most of what we use is recovered, you can get up to 99% easily, economically with most Ag reclamation units, and demand is down.

When the markets get their SH** together, the bottom will fall out on this speculator-induced roller coaster ride.

As the economists like to say:

DISCLOSURE:  I have a 100% vested interest in AgX films, papers, and the wonderful silver-halide process that renders some of the most excellent dynamic ranges, colors, and gammas obtainiable in the 21st Century.

With responsible use only 1 part in 100 of Ag metal is lost from the use of photographic film and photographic paper.  That is a better retention of silver than probably any other industry that uses it.

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