Kuala Lumpur: The global demand for rubber gloves is estimated to reach 300 billion gloves this year, with an expected annual growth of 12 per cent, according to the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma).
It said out of the total, 188 billion gloves would be produced by Malaysia, which is the world’s largest producer and leading exporter of rubber gloves, contributing 63 per cent of global supply, followed by Thailand (18 per cent), China (10 per cent) and Indonesia (3.0 per cent).
The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), the government agency that oversees and drives investment into the manufacturing and services sectors, quoted Margma in its e-newsletter for March 2019.
The e-newsletter is Mida’s monthly industry update for global investors.
Meanwhile, Mida has projected that export revenue for rubber gloves will reach RM19.88 billion this year, up from the RM18.8 billion estimated by industrial players in 2018.
“Notably, made-in-Malaysia rubber gloves are expected to be exported to over 195 countries worldwide in 2019,” it said.
Mida said overall, the global market for the medical rubber gloves industry showed a positive trend, driven by the increase in the world standard of healthcare and the ageing world population.
But as the (medical glove) industry becomes more competitive, rubber glove manufacturers were investing heavily in automation as part of efforts to combat rising labour costs and to increase production efficiency, it said.
In line with this, Mida continues to encourage global Industry 4.0 technology providers and industrial automation solution providers to connect with the medical glove manufacturers.
Among the manufacturers, Top Glove Corporation Bhd, the world’s largest rubber glove manufacturer, has been aggressively pursuing expansion and continues to strategically digitise its operation.
The company is currently focusing on automating its production lines and is improving efficiency by using data to drive automation in the company.
Meanwhile, the largest nitrile glove producer globally, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, has invested over RM14 million to upgrade its enterprise resource planning system as part of its commitment towards realising Industry 4.0. – Bernama