Margma expects record year, says glove prices to rise again

PETALING JAYA: Glove manufacturers, who expect a record year on extraordinary worldwide demand for medical and surgical gloves, warned it would be tweaking prices further to match rising costs of natural gas, packaging materials, chemical and annual incrementals relating to wages and new governmental policies, and the weakening of the US dollar.

Glove makers expect to bring RM16.2 billion in revenue this year, having achieved RM7.95 billion in the first six months.

This year alone has seen prices moving up thrice, culminating to date an increase in price by about 32%. This will mean an additional cost of about US$0.20 to US$0.30 per carton of 1,000 pieces of gloves depending on box type.

Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) in a statement earlier said that the steep hike in gas price of 22.9%, will mean an additional cost of about US$0.60 to US$1.00 depending on the glove type.

Packaging material costs have also escalated with the lack of recyclable material as readership of newspapers and magazines have dwindled worldwide, pushing up the price of boxes.

Government policies such as the Employee Insurance Scheme and the impending revision of the minimum wage policy is expected to increase costs as well.

Margma, is estimating cost increases of about US$1.00 to US$1.50 per 1,000 pieces.

Meanwhile the association stated that all manufacturers are running at optimum capacities and an oversold position, brought on mainly by acute healthcare consciousness, regulatory requirement to wear gloves in developed and developing nations and the crack-down of vinyl glove factories in China due to environmental issues.