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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Demand for medical gloves has reached critical level - Margma

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 | MYT 10:22 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The demand for medical gloves is not only growing but has reached a critical situation as some countries are badly hit by the bird flu and are running out of stock.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) said it was optimistic of the usual 8% to 10% annual growth for medical gloves and forecast a higher revenue due to higher selling prices.

Its president, Denis Low Jau Foo, said incessant heavy rains and flooding in some areas had badly affected natural rubber (NR) producers.

“There is limited stock of raw materials and it is only a matter of time before shortages will be severely felt, and if prolonged, may cause natural rubber prices to rise further,” he said.

He said in September 2016, the NR latex average price was RM4.56 per wet kilo (kg) and today, it stood at RM7.15 per wet kg.

“This is indeed a serious and sharp rise of about 45% from September to January,” Foo said.

Foo said the association’s members had increased the selling prices of gloves by US$1 to US$1.50 from September to December 2016.

“From January 2017 onwards higher raw material prices need to be costed into the nitrile glove prices by about US$2.50 to US$3.50.

“It is a moving target and even higher prices are more likely in the days ahead,” he said. - Bernama

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