Petaling Malaysia – Malaysian glove manufacturers are to reduce their workforce to 60% in compliance with a new Covid-related movement control order, which came into effect late May.
While the decision is expected to hamper manufacturing “a little”, the industry is confident that it will cope with the workforce reduction and address gloves shortages worldwide, said the Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (MARGMA) in a 1 June statement.
“Current lead times on delivery will be slightly longer,” according to MARGMA president Dr Supramaniam Shanmugam.
Noting that Malaysian manufacturers produce 67% of the global supply of gloves, the official said measures were in place to ensure that enough glove is being produced to meet the high demand.
Furthermore, Shanmuam said that MARGMA was mindful that there were many countries in dire need of gloves.
“We have urged our members to assist India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and many other South American nations by providing more medical gloves to them as they are severely in need,” he added.
On market developments, Shanmugam said demand for gloves remained “extremely robust” within the healthcare sector while non-healthcare sectors are slowly moving towards a recovery programme.
An economic recovery in Europe and the US, he said, will mean further demand from sectors such as food handling, industrial, cleanroom laboratory, dermatology and tattooing.
Traditionally, these sectors require about 17% of all gloves produced, Shanmugam noted.