(According to Reuters) Malaysia, the world’s largest producer of rubber gloves, is in a race to speed up production to address supply shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Margma President, Supramaniam Shanmugam, said the time from production to the time a product reaches the final consumer is currently about seven months. He added that demand will remain strong through the second quarter of 2022.
Although global output is estimated to grow to 420 billion pairs this year, from 380 billion pairs last year and at an annual growth rate of 10-15%, Mr. Supramaniam said demand outstrips supply could potentially overwhelm supply. continued through 2023. Malaysia is expected to supply 280 billion pairs, or 67% of total global production, this year.
Margma said that Malaysia’s glove export revenue more than doubled in 2020 to 35.3 billion ringgit ($8.6 billion) and is expected to grow to 38 billion ringgit in 2021.
According to Mr. Supramaniam, Malaysian manufacturers are facing concerns about social responsibility. Top Glove Corp is in the process of resolving an import ban imposed by US Customs and Border Protection last July over allegations of forced labor.