Rubber glove exports on track for record-breaking year

Malaysia’s rubber glove exports in the first six months of this year rose by 25% to RM7.95 billion from RM5.28 billion in the same period in 2016, signalling that the sector is on track for a record-breaking year.

In a statement last Friday, Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said the high export growth might lead to an outstanding new high in export sales of RM16 billion in the full year of 2017, up 20% compared to RM13.28 billion for 2016.

“Rubber gloves have been the largest contributor to the Malaysian rubber products industry.

“The export sales of rubber gloves accounted for over 70% of the total exports of rubber products, which amounted to RM11.4 billion for the first six months of 2017,” Mah said.

Given the expected strong export performance this year, Mah said he was confident Malaysia would continue to dominate the world market for rubber gloves — especially for medical gloves usage in the healthcare sector.

“With the increasing demand for higher quality medical gloves in major emerging markets, coupled with the industry’s moves to expand production capacity and improve manufacturing processes, we believe these will help it achieve the target of securing at least 65% share of the global export of rubber gloves by 2020.”

Mah said based on the current trend of global import growth, his ministry and the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council projected that world demand for rubber gloves would increase from 211 billion pieces in 2016 to 287 billion pieces by 2020.

“Malaysia is currently the world’s largest supplier of rubber gloves, fulfilling 60% of the total global supply in volume terms, supplying approximately 126 billion pieces of rubber gloves as of 2016.”

He said the country’s rubber gloves were exported to more than 190 countries worldwide.

“Malaysia’s Number 1 position in global market for rubber gloves is currently at a strong position and is way ahead of its closest competitors, Thailand and China, which ranked second- and third-largest exporting countries respectively,” said Mah. — Bernama