Disposable Glove Distributors Know the Reality: Prices Will Stay High

High prices for disposable gloves are not going away soon.

If you are in the disposable glove business, you have been living the reality of higher prices for nearly a year. We’ve outlined the reasons for this more than a few times in this space.

Over the last year, there has been a lot of speculation about market dynamics. Frustratingly, 2021 is shaping up to be another year of short supply, high demand, and uncomfortable prices. Supply chains will be seriously put to the test. And customers are not happy about it.

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Transportation, Logistics Challenges Impacting Glove Prices, Availability

Containers are backing up in ports, causing major supply chain disruptions.

A lot of factors impact disposable glove prices, from raw materials to labor to supply and demand to shipping and transportation. Over the last year, they have all contributed to glove prices rising while availability suffers.

At the moment, nothing is putting more pressure on the market than major disruptions to the global supply chain. And the crisis reaches far beyond disposable gloves.

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The Opportunities to Sell Vinyl Gloves Are More Numerous Than You May Think

Vinyl gloves are perfect for working with food, as they are well-suited for tasks that require frequent glove changes.

 

Today’s disposable glove market may be filled with challenges related to nitrile, but when it comes to vinyl, the possibilities for success are numerous. 

In these times of a global pandemic that has already claimed more than a million lives worldwide and shows no signs of slowing, one might think that disposable gloves are so much in demand that they sell themselves.

Well, yes. And no.

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Shortage of Nitrile Leaves Glove Customers to Rely on Vinyl

Nitrile butadiene rubber is in short supply the world over, making nitrile gloves both expensive and difficult to obtain.

Nitrile butadiene rubber is in short supply the world over, making nitrile gloves both expensive and difficult to obtain.

Nearly a year since the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the world is still reeling from the pandemic’s effects.

Global cases are in the tens of millions, with deaths over a million. In the U.S., the virus is proliferating. Economies continue to sputter. Still, we may not have yet seen the worst of COVID’s impact on society and the disposable glove marketplace in particular.

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Disposable Glove Supply Chain Only as Strong as Its Weakest Link

shipping containers disposable gloves nitrile vinyl latex
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.

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Take the Long View Toward Rising Disposable Glove Prices

Workers on the disposable glove production line. Photo by Song Qiuju/123rf

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.

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High-margin residual sales spring from Gloveworks HD

Gloveworks HD disposable gloves deliver high-margin, residual sales

Gloveworks HD featuring raised diamond texture is a pretty special brand for AMMEX. These heavy-duty, nitrile disposable gloves are industrial grade, top of the line, designed and manufactured for professionals who need the best, all while providing high-margin residual sales.

The trick with Gloveworks HD—the raised diamond texture channels away liquids for a superior grip, wet or dry—is to find the right audience willing to spend a little extra for a better glove.

View AMMEX’s wide selection of nitrile, latex, and vinyl gloves

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Be prepared for California latex glove ban

Distributors who sell disposable latex gloves in California should know of that state’s impending ban on latex glove use for restaurants, food service operations, and retail food establishments.

Signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 5 and effective Jan. 1, 2020, the law decrees that latex gloves will no longer be permitted in the food industry. This ban is similar to laws passed in such states as Ohio, Connecticut, Oregon, Hawaii, Arizona, and Rhode Island. Several more states are considering similar measures.
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