In any discussion of personal protective equipment production in these times of COVID-19, perhaps the least avoidable word is “scalability.”
As in: “We need a few billion of (insert name of PPE here). What kind of scalability can you deliver?”
Scalability, of course, is how easily something can be massively expanded or upgraded on demand.
These are, as we have pointed out in this space before, volatile times in the disposable glove industry.
COVID-19 has demand for disposable gloves (and face masks and all other forms of personal protective equipment) skyrocketing. Glove supply is lagging because factories in Southeast Asia can’t keep up.
|In these times of personal protective equipment shortages, with prices rising and orders backed up for months, it can be helpful to examine the worldwide disposable glove supply chain that carries products from Southeast Asia factories to end-users. There are myriad factors that, either collectively or individually, can cause a breakdown in supply.
It all starts with raw materials. If you are making latex gloves, you need natural rubber. For nitrile, the basic ingredients are two monomers, acrylonitrile and butadiene. For PVC, it’s polyvinyl chloride monomers.
Thanks to COVID-19, prices for personal protective equipment, especially disposable gloves, have been on the rise as supply suffers acute shortages. In many cases, price jumps have been astronomical, and in the next 45 to 90 days, prices for all gloves will likely double. PVC prices may go even higher, delivering a serious blow to the affordability of vinyl gloves.
In simplest terms, it is a matter of overwhelming demand and a supply chain that cannot keep up. Disposable gloves have for years been viewed as a basic commodity that is widely available, but for many reasons, there has always been a limited manufacturing capacity. Glove makers and the supply chain were not prepared to deal with the sudden spike in demand.
|Restrictions placed on businesses during the COVID-19 shutdown have been eased, at least partially. What business and governmental leaders are learning, however, according to The Wall Street Journal, is the new economic reality in the age of coronavirus: Being open for business is almost as hard as being closed.
Facing higher costs to keep workers and customers safe, businesses are forced to make significant changes to their operating models to maintain a profit, the Journal reported. Some are cutting services and jobs; others are raising prices, including imposing coronavirus-related fees aimed at getting customers to share some of the expenses.
|In the pre-COVID-19 world, disposable glove use was always steadily on the rise, averaging almost 10% growth a year. Safety awareness has spread well beyond the medical sector and into industrial environments.
Due to the pandemic, all industries are investing heavily in hygiene and safety for their employees. Demand for disposable gloves is also increasing among ordinary consumers, many of whom have taken to wearing them in public as an extra safety precaution. Continue reading “COVID-19 Will Keep Driving Demand for Disposable Gloves”
|In 2020, demand for disposable gloves and personal protective equipment is at all-time highs. The global spread of the novel coronavirus has completely taken over the conversation—and the market—as glove manufacturers struggle to keep the supply chain moving.
Also on the rise, of course, is the cost of doing business. With shortages of raw materials and labor, and restrictions on who gets priority access to PPE, glove prices are going up. It’s not a matter of gouging, but simple economics: demand rises, supply drops, gloves get more expensive.
The global disposable gloves market is experiencing explosive growth. Today’s overwhelming demand for personal protective equipment is expected to continue unabated as glove manufacturers in Southeast Asia struggle to keep up with orders.
Health-related fears driven by the novel coronavirus are of course a major factor in the industry’s current economic boom. But beyond that, the use of disposable gloves, especially in the industrial safety sector, has been steadily on the rise.
In uncertain times, it is anything but business as usual in the disposable glove industry. As such, companies like AMMEX continue to see the extraordinary impact of worldwide pandemics such as COVID-19 and how they disrupt so much of our daily lives. AMMEX is committed to doing its part to support its customers and their communities with critical and essential PPE products during world health events.
During these times, our team works around the clock to ensure that its customers, local and state institutions, and governments have as much supply of disposable gloves as possible. These pandemics are fought on the front lines.