Kuala Lumpur – Rubber gloves consumption has reached “a dizzying proportion” and Malaysia is supplying more than 60% of that demand, according to the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA).
“We estimate the global demand to touch 360 billion pieces this year and Malaysia must do its best to supply at least 250 to 270 billion pieces,” said MRGMA president Dr Supramaniam Shanmugam in a 26 Nov statement.
The new MARGMA consumption figure is 21.6% higher than the 2019 level, when demand stood around 296 billion pieces.
Driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, the surge in demand is expected to last for the long-term, according to industry players.
In its first-quarter results published 9 Dec, leading Malaysian manufacturer Top Glove said the development of an effective Covid-19 vaccine is not expected to dampen demand.
“Even with a vaccine, gloves will still be needed for testing and administering the vaccine,” the manufacturer said.
According to Top Glove, pre-pandemic, global glove demand was already growing about 10% and is expected to continue to grow steadily driven by strong market fundamentals across all geographies.
While demand will stabilise post-pandemic, Top Glove expects that it will not revert to pre-pandemic levels owing to increased hygiene awareness.