With the arrival of the ever-handy digital camera, and now Kodak filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
, the question upon us is if there’s still a demand for photographic film products. The answer? Kind of. Since just 2007, imports of photographic film products have declined 31.6%, as of November 2011 (see graph below).
s of classic products, like 35mm film, have plummeted in the past five years, from values around $90 million to now $30 million, a 65% drop. Another sinking ship is instant print film for color (HTS 3701.20.0030
). In 2007, U.S. import values reached almost $70 million but are down to a mere $6.8 million today.
Although the market for film products has fallen, it would be unwise to say the goods have become obsolete. Some film products have even increased over the years. Film sized 610mm in width by more than 200mm in length (HTS 3702.42.0100
) have almost doubled in imports since 2008. It spiked from $89 million then, to almost $170 million in 2011, an 89% increase.
Clearly there is still a market for these “old-fashioned” technologies, as seen in the graph below. So, even though our children may never experience the task of carefully loading a camera with film, dropping off the roll to be developed, then waiting weeks to pick up the prints, they still have the option. And isn’t experiencing inconvenience what growing up is all about?
*Numbers as of November 2011 and excluding X-ray and motion picture film.