KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 – The country’s rubber glove industry is targeted to achieve RM38 billion worth of exports globally this year, higher than the RM35.3 billion recorded last year.
Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturer Association (MARGMA) president Dr Supramaniam Shanmugam said a total of 280 billion pieces gloves would be produced by Malaysia, representing 67 per cent of the estimated global supply of 420 billion gloves for this year.
“Global demand is far higher than supply and we see this trend continuing (from last year) not only for 2021 but also going into 2022, with 13,318 gloves being used every single second.
“We have taken into consideration all the scenarios (export competition and anticipation of falling average selling price) and are confident that this RM38 billion target will be achieved,” he told a virtual media briefing here today.
Supramaniam said Malaysia’s top export destinations for rubber gloves last year were the United States with export value of RM11.89 billion, Germany (RM2.25 billion), the United Kingdom (RM2.13 billion), Japan (RM2.02 billion) and China (RM1.57 billion).
Commenting on the impact of global vaccine development on rubber glove demand, he said an additional 18 billion gloves would be needed for the entre vaccination process.
He said the industry saw demand for rubber gloves growing between eight per cent and 10 per cent annually pre-COVID, and the trajectory had substantially increased to between 20 per cent and 25 per cent during the pandemic.
Demand would likely grow between 12 per cent and 15 per cent annually post-COVID, he said.
“The new norm due to COVID-19 is expected to stay and sustain the current elevated demands, he added.
According to Supramaniam, the growth drivers include the regulatory requirements, healthcare awareness, population growth and aging population.
He said the industry was expected to see between RM2 billion and RM 3 billion investment injection per annum, mainly in innovation, automation and aggressive research and development by manufacturers.