Market Update: What’s Ahead for Disposable Gloves

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When it comes to the disposable glove market, demand planning—pricing and inventory—is the focus of most conversations. We understand why: Clients want to know when it will return to a predictable state, similar to four or five years ago.

The disposable glove market was consistent for almost a decade, with stable prices and predictable growth, leading up to 2020. The key variables that shape it (production, logistics, distribution, etc.) had been well-optimized.

That all changed, of course, with the global spread of the pandemic, subjecting the market to a lot of volatility.

The old ‘normal’ no longer applies

When trying to forecast the glove market, many factors come into play. What’s important is that every market stage has dealt with the volatility over the past three years. Plus, with global inflation, logistics uncertainties, and labor costs, we may never go back to the pre-pandemic “normal” and instead head for a “new normal.”

So what is shaping the current glove market? Besides the standard supply and demand variables, let’s look at the specific dynamics. Free-market forces are always changing. Many supply and demand variables from disparate sources come together to determine a price and an outcome at a specific moment.

Controlled by free-market forces, the glove market is driven by many data inputs—and it is a work in progress. In 2023, prices are trending down and supply is consistent, but many variables are still at play.

There is still digging out to do

Inventory continues to be a challenge. The entire supply chain, from OEM to major suppliers to end users, overbought during the pandemic and are slowly working through their excess inventory. It is coming down, but every company achieves this on their own timeline.

The good news is that by all indications, people are using more gloves than before the pandemic—so opportunities in the market are as plentiful as ever.

Read more about current market conditions in our Q3 Market Update.

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