Glove Market Update: Reducing Excess Inventory

A warehouse full of boxes.

As we look forward to Q4 of 2023, the year has been a mixed bag of outcomes for disposable gloves.

The pandemic boosted demand, and more gloves are used in North America than ever. At the same time, many large distributors and end users are still dealing with excess inventory, as prices have dropped and challenges with labor, logistics, and factory utilization continue.

Plus, turbulence in the economy continues to be a distraction, with the Fed raising interest rates to battle inflation. The glove market, like the rest of the economy, is working through post-pandemic challenges.

Despite these challenges, the long-term outlook remains positive. Global growth in the demand for disposable gloves continues into its fourth decade and is expected to resume at a double-digit annual rate in 2024.

Excess product inventory lingering

Post-pandemic, too much inventory has been a problem across all industries. Disposable gloves are not an exception.

Chart showing Total Business Inventories, 2018-2023.

Many large distributors and end users bought disposable gloves at inflated prices during the pandemic, and are still dealing with excess inventory. Sure, they can reduce prices or write off product, but that is easier said than done when millions in forecasted profits are at stake.

This has caused some large distributors to lose clients and even consider exiting the category. Most large-market participants will likely clear their inventory “overhang” in the next 6-12 months.

Most insiders forecast the market to be closer to equilibrium within the next 12 to 18 months. Inventory will eventually normalize, and companies that stay in the market will aggressively look to recover lost business.

Challenging conditions are likely to persist well into 2025, all while the global demand for gloves continues to rise, underpinned by rising awareness of health, hygiene, and safety.

Click here to read our full Q4 Market Update at

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