KUALA LUMPUR—The global rubber gloves demand is set to slow down from the "extraordinary" levels of 2020 and 2021, but will remain considerably higher than pre-COVID-19 levels, according to the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA).
The demand for gloves in 2022 and 2023 is estimated to be 10-15 percent higher than the pre-COVID-19 level of 296 billion pieces, said MARGMA president Supramaniam Shanmugam in a Feb. 21 statement to European Rubber Journal.
"For now, certainly, there will be a slight increase in demand for gloves, especially from Europe and America in view of the lingering COVID (variant) omicron," said Shanmugam.
This, however, will be mitigated by higher than usual inventory levels in buyers' premises, he added.
MARGMA had previously anticipated demand for gloves to reach 420 billion pieces in 2021, up from 360 billion pieces in 2020.
As for the average selling price of gloves, the association's leader said he expected it to normalize in the second quarter of 2022 to "pre-COVID level plus 12-16 percent increments."
The increments, according to the official, are due to the inherent increase in raw materials and energy since 2019.