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Margma to bank on non-medical sector to spur glove demand

Margma to bank on non-medical sector to spur glove demand

31 Mar 2022

The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) hopes that returning non-medical industries will drive future demand for gloves as Malaysia prepares to enter and progresses through the endemic stage from Friday (April 1) onwards.

According to Margma president Dr Supramaniam Shanmugam, the demand for gloves would not be able to match levels seen during the pandemic stage of Covid-19, but glove makers are also aware that there are industries out there that critically need gloves but are currently not prioritised.

Setting aside regulatory and healthcare requirements which will always be there, Supramaniam believes that the growing and ageing population will also ensure that demand for gloves will remain robust on a year-on-year basis when the economy comes back into play.

“The only other thing we need to bank on is we need to wait for the various industries out there who are on the backburners, who are glove consumers basically like those in the industries of food and beverage, tattooist. They never move because of the pandemic restrictions.

“They are slowly coming back, and as they come back slowly, so will the glove consumption side which will start increasing. We are banking on that to see growth,” he said during a question and answer session at Margma’s industry briefing on Thursday.

Using the food and beverage industry as an example, Supramaniam said the industry was only a small consumer of gloves for the longest time.

“But in the past eight to 10 years, there have been a lot of activities. People have taken cognisance of the fact that handling food revolves around the levels of cleanliness.

“This goes the same if you look at the semiconductor electronic industry for example, to protect the electrical or electronic component from contamination,” he added.

Margma immediate past president Denis Low Jau Foo also concurred that the ageing population will also drive demand for gloves.

“We believe that the nursing homes will be a big user of gloves going forward, so are the housewives, having to take care of the elderly,” he said.

Meanwhile, Supramaniam expects average selling prices (ASPs) for gloves to normalise to 2019 levels, as there is still ample supply of gloves in the market.

“Once this has been taken away, then we will expect ASPs to actually move up to at least 10% to 12% on the back of the cost of doing business which will come into play, such as the upcoming minimum wage as well as the cost of doing environment, social [and] governance (ESG),” he said.

On the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Supramaniam said it’s business as usual at this point in time and hopes that the crisis would be resolved soon.

“If there are sanctions upon us in terms of these two countries for example, I think our gloves will make their way to third party countries. But at the end of the day, Russia and Ukraine are a very small segment of our market share,” he said.

Source: The Edge Markets

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