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Malaysia’s rubber glove exports set for record year

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 11): Malaysia’s export growth for rubber gloves is set to see a record year, with sales expected to hit RM16 billion for the year, up 20% from last year, according to the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities.

Its minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong said exports during 1H17 were up 25% at RM7.95 billion, from the RM5.28 billion recorded in the same period last year.

“The high export growth in the first six months of 2017 signalled that the rubber glove sector is on track to record an outstanding new high in export sales of RM16 billion in the full year of 2017, an increase of 20% compared to RM13.28 billion recorded for the whole year 2016.

“Rubber gloves has been the largest contributor to the Malaysian rubber products industry. The export sales of rubber gloves accounted over 70% of the total exports of rubber products, which amounted to RM11.4 billion for the first six months of 2017,” Mah said in a statement today.

The release was issued after a special roundtable meeting with leaders from the rubber industry, to seek their opinions on ways to further boost the local rubber glove industry’s contribution to the economy.

Malaysia, Mah said, is currently the world’s largest supplier of rubber gloves, ahead of Thailand and China. He added Malaysia fulfils some 60% of total global supply in volume terms, or approximately 126 billion pieces of rubber gloves as of 2016.

Mah is confident Malaysia will continue to dominate the world market for rubber gloves, especially for the usage of medical gloves within the healthcare sector.

In fact, he believes Malaysia’s market share will rise to 65% of global rubber glove exports by 2020, since the industry is looking to expand production capacity and improve manufacturing processes, amid increasing demand for higher quality medical gloves in major emerging markets.

The ministry, together with the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council, anticipate world demand for rubber gloves to rise to 287 billion pieces by 2020, from 211 billion pieces last year (2016).

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