For those interested in digging a bit deeper into the “why” of what’s happening in the disposable gloves market, below are some key factors impacting the cost and availability of Nitrile and Vinyl disposable gloves in FY2021.
China: A recent outbreak in Northern China has prompted the Chinese government to completely lockdown Hebei province. The outbreak is concentrated in Shijiazhuang, which is a critical transport and manufacturing hub for the region. While we don’t anticipate a major impact on glove production at the factory level, we do foresee an impact on transportation.
By second quarter, we estimate Vinyl glove production to ramp up and increase, thereby easing the pressure on availability and likely bringing pricing down slowly. Nitrile glove availability is going to be very tight for the rest of 2021 although there are multiple factories building new production lines, we expect the pricing to be still extremely high till beginning of 2022.
Southeast Asia: Most nitrile glove factories in Malaysia are impacted by recent Covid-19 outbreaks, either partially or completely. This has put a tremendous pressure on an already tight market. Demand is still remarkably high, and production is tight due to several factors such as raw material availability and labor costs. We expect the pricing to increase for the next 6 months and plateau by the end of 2021.
Supply Chain Status Overall: Freight is extremely congested all through the supply chain. Average lead times have increased by 25 to 30 days due to lack of containers overseas, congestion at the ports, lack of drivers stateside and lack of availability at final destinations.