A new report from a University of Toronto economist suggests cheap ink is becoming cheaper than paper.
The paper, from the Institute for Economic Research, says that the cost of ink cartridges dropped to $25 a day from $100 a day a decade ago.
It estimates that the price of cartridges will drop to $15 a cartridge this year, compared with $8 in 2019.
The report also found that most new printer ink was being sold in Canada, as opposed to in other countries.
“It’s the best year-over-year performance in the global supply chain since 2010, and it was an amazing year for the global ink industry,” says the report’s author, Professor David McKenzie.
The Economist’s report also showed that prices for the industry’s main competitors in the ink business, e-ink makers like Epson, were falling.
The industry had previously been seeing rapid growth.
Epson reported its quarterly profit of $2.3 billion in the first half of 2017.
That was up from $1.8 billion in 2017.
Last year, Epson said its annual profits were down more than 50 per cent.
It had forecast profits of $1 billion in 2019, and $900 million in 2020.
“There are lots of reasons why the industry is seeing this good performance, but one of the main ones is the strong performance of the e-book market,” says Mr McKenzie.
“Epson is a big player in the industry.
The other major players are Samsung, HP, Dell, Fujitsu and Apple.
They’re all looking at it as a new and lucrative opportunity.”
For the past few years, ink cartridges have been a growing market.
They have also been an attractive way for people to save money.
There’s also a growing demand for ink cartridges for laptops and other digital devices, as people increasingly use them for reading and watching videos on their devices.
E-ink cartridges can be used for the same reasons that printers can, and can be cheaper than ink cartridges.
“This report is really important because it tells us that the ink market is becoming much more efficient,” says Dr McKenzie.
He says it’s not just the industry that is seeing significant improvement, it’s also consumers, who are more willing to pay for ink.
“The reason that the market is improving so much is because people are starting to realise that there’s more money to be made in the market, that the products are more durable, that it’s cheaper,” he says.