Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) president Denis Low Jau Foo said on Monday the members would “tweak their prices to match up with rising cost”. This could see the price rising by about US$1 to US$1.50 per 1,000 pieces of gloves.
He cited the steep rise in natural gas price, the sharp increase in the cost of the packaging materials, weakening US$, higher chemical cost and the annual incremental cost relating to wages and the new governmental policies.
“It is really a big handful of increased cost for which, the rubber glove Industry will, as normal, pass it on to the international buyers and consumers.
“We are making this statement early so that all stakeholders can be prepared to expect higher glove prices in the months ahead as it is inevitable and that such incremental cost would have to be passed on to the buyers as it would be difficult for the manufacturers to bear,” he said.
The steep rise in the natural gas price of about 22.9 % will mean an additional cost of about 60 US cents to to US$1 depending on the glove type.
Low added packaging material prices had increased due to the lack of recyclable material, as evidenas readership of newspapers and magazines has dwindled at an alarming rate world-wide.
“This shortage of recyclable material will continue in the months ahead, thus pushing up the price of boxes. This year alone has seen prices moving up thrice, culminating to date an increase in price by about 32 %. This will mean an additional cost of about 20 cents to 30 cents per carton of 1,000pcs of gloves depending on box type.
He also expected the US$ to weaken against the ringgit due to higher oil price.
Malaysia accounts for 65 % of total world demand and is poised to deliver about 152 billion pieces of gloves to more than 190 countries.
Low expected a record year for glove manufacturers as world-wide demand for medical and surgical glove is extraordinary “with all manufacturers running at optimum capacities and an oversold position”.
The factors were acute healthcare consciousness, regulatory requirement to wear gloves in developed and developing nations and the crack-down of vinyl glove factories in China due to environmental issues.
“Malaysia stand to reap in RM16.2bil in revenue this year, having achieved RM7.95bil in the first six months,” he said.