Malaysian rubber glove group says 2021 supply estimated at 420 billion amid global shortage

Margma said there will continue to be this year a global glove shortage and a long lead time for manufacturers to deliver products to customers. — Reuters pic
Margma said there will continue to be this year a global glove shortage and a long lead time for manufacturers to deliver products to customers. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — 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 into 2023.

The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) said today the country was in an oversold position of 160 billion gloves.

“The lead time currently is about seven months for the gloves to be delivered to the end customer,” Margma President Supramaniam Shanmugam said, adding that demand would remain robust until the second 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 10-15 per cent, Supramaniam said excess demand could run into 2023. Malaysia expects to supply 280 billion, or 67 per cent, of that increased global supply.

Malaysia’s gloves export earnings more than doubled in 2020, rising 103 per cent to RM35.3 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.

Top Glove Corp is in the midst of resolving an import ban placed by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) last July on allegations of forced labour.

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.” — Reuters

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