At some point all artists who paint wonder why equal amounts of paint made by the same company are priced so differently.
For example: equal size artist oil paint tubes of Cobalt Blue and Mars Black have very different price tags. Cobalt Blue can be five times more expensive than Mars Black!
Cobalt pigment, which is already expensive, has an additional cost that other pigments don’t. Cobalt has a protectionist steel tariff added to the price / kg. This price fluctuates according to world market whims. The last time I checked, the tariff was more than $16.00 USD / kg.
Obviously, pigment prices vary significantly. Prices are between $10.00 USD / kg to over $100.00 USD / kg.
For example: Pv23 aka. Carbazole or Dioxazine Violet costs between $40.00 USD / kg from a foreign manufacturer to $100.00 USD / kg from a national distributor.
Keep in mind, there are more factors than cost when deciding from who to purchase.
Wholesale pure pigment is priced per kilogram on the world market. This is true whether the pigment is purchased from manufacturers or distributors. Pigments are also sold with a minimum order quantity. Typically, the minimum order for pure pigment is 25 kg. So, purchasing a $2500.00 USD bag of Pv23 pigment is a significant investment, especially for a small business.
Purchasing the pigments is the first cost before getting the pigment into our mill. There are shipping costs (sometimes shipping costs more than the pigment). If we import the pigment, there are additional customs broker processing fees, currency conversion fees, bank fees, warehousing fees if customs decides to hold the pigment for examination, and there are duty and taxes to pay.
So why are equal size soft pastels made by the same company priced the same? This will be discussed on another post.