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Glove prices expected to increase

13th September, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Glove prices may increase by between nine and 12 per cent in the next few days due to several factors, says Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA).

In a statement on Tuesday, its President, Denis Low Jau Foo, said one of the key contributing factors was Hurricane Irma, currently wreaking havoc in the coastal areas of the US.

“The resulting devastation had severely affected the production of butadiene, an important material in making nitrile latex, which in turn would drive up prices for both products,” he said.

Low said the latex prices had also been affected by speculation as the commodity was highly volatile. Natural rubber (NR) prices tended to increase in anticipation of price fixing and speculation leading up to the International Tripartite Rubber Council’s annual meeting later this month, he said.

The council comprised the world’s top producers of NR.

“As manufacturers, we want NR prices to be stable and for smallholders to be adequately compensated for their work and not be subjected to unreasonable speculation and profiteering,” he said.

Low said nitrile and latex were major components to manufacture rubber gloves, thus it was important that such increases be properly monitored and managed, especially in the pricing for exports in the coming months.

Aside from the rising cost of raw materials, Low said, the weakening US dollar was another key factor affecting rubber glove prices, adding that it was inevitable for the prices to be constantly re-adjusted to reflect the weakening currency.

On the industry’s performance, Low said, demand for rubber gloves in the first six months of 2017 has been extremely encouraging, with revenue soaring by around 25 per cent to RM8.1 billion from RM6 billion in the preceding six months.

Volume had also significantly increased by 15.8 per cent.

“We expect the second half of the year to be even better as Europe and America are buying very strongly, with Asia leading the pack in terms of consumption.

“Most of our members are in an oversold capacity position, with some major players having oversold up to December,” he said.

Meanwhile, the industry’s watchdog, MARGMA, has advised its members to revise their glove prices to reflect the sharp rise in production cost.

It also cautioned its members to limit the validity date to a shorter period to avoid being caught by the unpredictable rubber and butadiene prices. –Bernama

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