Rubber Gloves Future & Outlook: The 30 Billion Dollars Industry

Rubber Gloves Global Demand

“If you haven’t secured your orders of rubber gloves for the future, then you have missed the boat. That ship has sailed.”

The rubber gloves industry for the past 10 years have been growing at a steady pace of 6-9% with more increase in demand during outbreaks like H1N1, EBOLA, and other viruses. With Covid-19 pandemic and the outbreak of coronavirus, the market has dramatically changed. It is expected that from 2021, the rubber gloves CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) will be 9 to 12%, allowing the industry to grow to a 30-billion-dollar market valuation by 2030.

Rubber Gloves Market Research & Forecast 2021 – 2030:

It is expected that the demand for rubber gloves will remain HIGH from beginning of 2021 until the end of 2022.

The disposable gloves market is expected to gain tremendous market increase from the growing awareness about health and safety, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical gloves and disposable latex gloves are used by healthcare practitioners. The overall rubber gloves market will hit around USD 30 billion by the 2030 from USD 6 billion in the year of 2019. On the other hand, specifically the disposable gloves market should reach more USD 21 Billion Dollars by end of 2030.

Rubber Gloves
Latex Gloves & Other Rubber Gloves Market forecast

The Situation Room with Rubber Gloves:

Recent events have caused high demand from buyers and shortages in delivery from manufacturers.

Why? The demand was fueled by the Covid-19 virus and the shortages were caused by a burst in demand without pre-planning for manufacturers to prepare. Shortages were caused by delay in securing raw materials such as Nitrile Rubber (NBR) to produce nitrile gloves. Many manufacturers took orders and faced challenges in securing raw materials. Some manufacturers took more than they could handle. Rubber gloves prices skyrocketed because of high demand and increase in raw materials cost. This led some markets specifically Europe to shift from nitrile towards latex gloves, securing medical latex gloves stock at decent reasonable prices.

Coronavirus Vaccine:

2021 is the year the covid-19 vaccine is officially rolled out and distributed worldwide. It is important to note that even though the vaccine is out, the virus is still out there and we will continue facing clusters of outbreaks. Logistics for the vaccine are complicated especially in warm or hot climates. The vaccine requires an average temperature of -60 degrees Celsius for storage therefore warehouses have to be properly equipped. It is a challenge for many countries on a national scale, then drilling down to healthcare facilities, distribution centers, pharmacies, and so on.

The virus will infect more than 100 million people the beginning of 2021 and it has the potential to re-infect people who have already contracted it. Vaccination will be an important tool to fight against the virus but it will not eliminate it or kill its presence completely.

Medical Gloves with Vaccination:

Rubber gloves are now used not only by healthcare professionals but by almost every single industry where workers have a frontline contact with others such as service, travel, restaurant, and hotels industry. Rubber gloves are vital and super important in protecting humans from contracting diseases, viruses, bacteria, and other infections.

In order to vaccinate billions of people, then billions of gloves will be used. In the near future, the market will require rubber gloves to protect from unwanted organisms and also to ensure that vaccination is done safely, adhering to health & safety regulations. Every time a doctor or a health professional uses needles and injections, rubber gloves are worn on the hands to protect the wearer from hazard. These gloves are then changed in order to avoid contamination.

Top Rubber Gloves Producers:

The leading manufacturers of rubber gloves will remain in South East Asia. Thailand will remain the leading country in latex gloves production while Malaysia has always been consistently the leader in Nitrile gloves manufacturing and also the leading player in rubber gloves manufacturing industry. Vietnam and China are right behind Thailand rubber gloves producers.

These countries, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and China are the leaders in quality and the largest producers of medical disposable gloves, household gloves, and industrial gloves. Sri Lanka and India have some companies with rubber gloves manufacturing facilities.

Thailand Export Rubber Gloves
Thailand Rubber Gloves Export Markets

Top Rubber Gloves Users:

United States of America is the largest consumer and highest in demand of rubber gloves due to strict and proper safety and health standards.

Europe is the second biggest consumer of rubber gloves. These two continents are driven by Nitrile gloves usage and then Latex gloves.

The new Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP): the free trade agreement between the 15 member countries of Asia-Pacific nations of Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam, represent about 30% of the world’s population (2.2 billion people) and 30% of global GDP ($30 trillion) as of 2020, making it the biggest trade alliance in history. This free trade agreement will play a role in the increase of demand of rubber gloves industry.

The Middle East & Africa: These markets have been exponentially growing in terms of economic and social growth. The increased awareness of health and safety will drive high growth.

Glove Usage by Capita
Rubber gloves usage by capita in 2018. The average number of gloves used per person is expected to double after 2020.

Latex Gloves Vs Nitrile:

Latex gloves have predominantly been dominating the market since its invention. Latex gloves have a market share of 52% vs 48% of nitrile gloves market share. This demand sometimes varies where nitrile takes the lead around 50% plus and latex gloves market share percentage drops slightly especially when nitrile gloves are at very low prices.

The reason why latex gloves have always been dominant in the market share is because latex gloves are more skin friendly, elastic, offering strong protection barriers, and more comfortable to use. Therefore, most household gloves are made of natural rubber latex and so are heavy duty industrial gloves.

The drive behind the demand of nitrile gloves in USA and Europe is due to the fact that latex gloves contain allergens which may cause some reactions on the skin, however, with recent production techniques and improved manufacturing processes, latex gloves these days have almost zero ingredients that may cause allergens.

Rubber Gloves Demand & Growth:

Recent events have increased our awareness and need towards personal health and hygiene. Coronavirus has changed our lives moving forward and it is a fact. Many countries are building more hospitals and we can see an increase in public and private healthcare clinics worldwide. World population has been constantly growing and it has almost tripled since the past 60 years.

Demand by type:

Disposable gloves: Disposable gloves are the highest in demand for various industries, specifically medical disposable gloves for hospitals, clinics, emergency, and healthcare facilities.

Food Industry gloves: Latex food industry gloves have been more and more popular lately, ranging from disposable gloves to thicker and longer sleeve gloves to protect workers from the food production to the service industry.

Household gloves: increased hygiene awareness and personal health wellbeing will drive more demand in latex household gloves, leading to care and personal protection at home.

Professional cleaning gloves: similar to household gloves, these will be widely used in public areas and public facilities to ensure that workers are protected, specifically in cleaning services industry.

Industrial gloves: these types of gloves are thick and long for heavy duty usage. They have been popular in the fishing industry and increased in usage where protection from chemicals and hazardous materials is required.

N.B: In 2017, FDA banned powdered rubber gloves to avoid contamination in food and medical procedures.

Rubber Gloves Veterans & Newcomers:

Many business people who have access to cash decided to capitalize on recent events and take the opportunity to enter the rubber gloves industry without having much knowledge or experience in it.

“At the height of the H1N1 virus pandemic in 2009, US-Based business, Prestige Ameritech built new machines to increase mask production and hired more labor worker. The machines took months to complete, and by the time they were ready, the crisis had ended and demand had faded. The problem didn’t end there because there was oversupply in the market and hospitals didn’t buy for future periods, the company almost went bankrupt, NPR reported.”

It is important to note that there are many upcoming companies that have already started to build rubber gloves manufacturing facilities and some are still planning to do so in the very near future. These newcomers have gotten excited over the surge in demand and decided to enter the rubber gloves industry without digging deep. The veterans in the market and the biggest producers have faced shortages in raw materials supplies encountering other problems, such as labor shortages and many others.

Buyers have and distributors have also been cheated, tricked, and defrauded by scammers. Click here for more information.

Kim Gloves future outlook:

Disposable gloves production capacity has been FULLY booked with confirmed orders until June 2021.

We have orders to supply and contract agreements to produce latex disposable gloves for customers until December 2021. There are upcoming talks with some of our buyers who are interested in securing rubber gloves production supply from our factory, supplying them from January 2022.

Are you planning ahead?

Most factories in the region are fully booked and with each month passing, many months ahead are already pre-booked. Distributors and suppliers do not want to face the same challenges with shortages in supply from manufacturers so buyers are planning ahead by purchasing future contracts.

At Kim Gloves, we are expecting an increase in demand in other types of gloves such as food industry gloves, multi-purpose protective gloves, household gloves, and industrial gloves. With more awareness for personal safety and well-being, including additional regulations to protect workers in various industries from hazardous materials, the demand for rubber gloves will grow.

Manufacturing procedure of specific products such as latex disposable gloves (medical devices), specialty rubber gloves (drugs and foods), which involve high level of hygiene and handling of these rubber products is the crucial operation that may cause a product contamination if proper care is not taken. The demand for latex gloves is anticipated to upswing in future, due to the requirement for workers’ safety, hygiene, protection against chemicals, and overall quality control. Rise in usage of latex gloves healthcare professionals, doctors, surgeons, and nurses to avoid the infections and other spreading complications. Moreover, latex gloves have application in household and domestic purposes for washing and cleaning.

As a manufacturer of rubber gloves with a long presence in the industry, we will continue our commitment to produce high quality latex gloves offering a wide range to protect humans in every industry and even at home. Hence, owing to rising concern for disinfection, hygiene, and safety, the market of latex gloves anticipates guaranteed growth in the future.

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