Malaysia, the world’s biggest rubber gloves manufacturer, is racing to increase production to close a supply gap caused by the coronavirus pandemic that it warns could last until 2023.
The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) said on Monday, March 15, the country was in an oversold position of 160 billion gloves.
“The lead time currently is about 7 months for the gloves to be delivered to the end customer,” Margma president Supramaniam Shanmugam said, adding that demand would remain robust until the 2nd quarter of 2022.
Even with global production expected to ramp up to 420 billion this year from 380 billion last year and annual growth of 10% to 15%, Supramaniam said excess demand could run into 2023. Malaysia expects to supply 280 billion, or 67%, of that increased global supply.
Malaysia’s gloves export earnings more than doubled in 2020, rising 103% to 35.3 billion ringgit ($8.6 billion), Margma said, forecasting that would rise to 38 billion ringgit this year.
Supramaniam said Malaysian manufacturers were addressing concerns about social compliance in the domestic industry.
Supramaniam said Margma was periodically in touch with the US CBP and the European Union “to ensure they know we are on the right path in terms of ensuring all that’s needed in fulfilling the requirements of the social compliance.” – Rappler.com