For 2023, the association expects the demand to grow between 12% and 15%
by AZALEA AZUAR / pic MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
MALAYSIAN Rubber Gloves Manufacturers Association (MARGMA) has a new global glove demand forecast, at about 399 billion pieces, which translates into an annual glove demand growth of between 10% and 12% in 2022.
For 2023, it expects global annual glove demand to grow between 12% and 15%.
MARGMA president Dr S Supramaniam said rubber gloves will continue to be profitable considering in normal conditions, its annual global demand growth is about 15%.
He said Malaysia is expected to have 65% share of the global rubber glove market, followed by China (20%), Thailand (10%) and Indonesia (3%).
However, he said the glove industry will have a tough outlook in the next six to nine months.
“The supply pipeline has sufficient gloves and players will expand only to the tune of demand growth.
“Natural rubber gloves are poised to make a comeback, provided we address the buyers’ mindset and concerns,” he said at a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony for the 10th International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition (IRGCE).
Meanwhile, Supramaniam said the local rubber glove industry only employs 1.5% foreign workers and has automated about 85% of their glove production operations, thus, it will take them another three to four years to automate 95% of their operations.
“We continue to invest to achieve that goal. Ten years ago, we needed 9.7 workers to produce one million pieces of gloves but today, we need only 1.7 workers for the same amount,” he said.
With automation, the industry will rely less on foreign workers and in return, prioritise local talents.
On IRGCE, MARGMA signed an MoU with the Malaysian Rubber Council and 18 major sponsors, witnessed by Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.
The IRGCE will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from Sept 6 to 8, 2022, with the theme “Breaking Boundaries: Game Changing Initiatives”.
It will feature the latest innovations, development and trends within the medical rubber glove and personal protective equipment industries.
The conference will be the largest global rubber glove event with 224 companies participating from 17 countries and an estimate of over 15,000 global trade visitors.
The 10th IRGCE organising committee chairman cum immediate past president Denis Low said the event was supposed to be held in 2020 but had to be pushed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The heightened consequences of the global pandemic era have given motivation to this year’s conference topics covering healthcare and regulatory, technology innovation, advanced materials, as well as sustainability and social responsibility,” he said.
There will be 86 speakers from Malaysia, the US, UK, Japan and South Korea to present on different topics.
Low said environmental, social and governance (ESG) will be the focus of the event and it is important to showcase Malaysia as a leader in ESG.
The event is also in association with the Thai Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association and the Indonesian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association.
It is supported by the Primary Industries and Commodities Ministry, International Trade and Industry Ministry, Malaysian Rubber Board, Malaysia External Trade Development Corp and Malaysia Digital Economy Corp.
The event will also be held in tandem with the world’s largest rubber conference, namely the Plastics and Rubber Institute Malaysia RubberCon conference and the Malaysian Rubber Products Manufacturers Association exhibition.