Economies around the globe are in turmoil. High demand, market pressures—and the conflict in eastern Europe and its consequent political instability—are driving gas and oil prices higher, and countless industries are feeling the pain.
Last week oil reached $130 a barrel and may go even higher (although the price came down a bit as the week began). The worst-case forecast has been raised to $240 a barrel, and the high prices could lead to a global recession as soon as this year.
Oil is, of course, an essential component in just about every industry, and that includes disposable gloves. It influences every aspect of the production process from manufacturing to supply chain.
Both polyvinyl chloride and nitrile butadiene rubber, two materials that make up the majority of the world’s disposable gloves, are made primarily from petroleum derivatives. It is estimated that raw materials constitute about 60% of the cost of producing gloves.
Transportation is another major factor. Importers are already seeing significant increases on new contracts for ocean freight. Because gloves are manufactured in Southeast Asia—primarily Malaysia, Vietnam, and China—more expensive ocean shipping is unavoidable.
Filling up the tank remains painful
Add to that soaring gas prices at the pump, which will inevitably jack up ground transportation rates. Average gas prices in the U.S. reached a record $4.17 a gallon late last week, surpassing the previous high from 2008. In some cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, average gas prices have hit $5 for regular fuel, and there are even some stations selling premium for over $7 a gallon.
Glove prices rose during the first couple years of the coronavirus, as supply was unable to keep up with exponential growth in demand. Prices have since come down significantly, and AMMEX has acquired a good deal of inventory at favorable cost levels.
Where prices go is anybody’s guess
It is impossible to predict what costs will be in another month, but it seems likely that gloves will not be any cheaper. With a supply chain that remains volatile, we are never going back to 2019 prices.
That makes now a great time to place your glove orders, particularly for Gloveworks Nitrile with Raised Diamond Texture. Whether 8-mil in orange and green or 6-mil in black and royal blue, these are gloves that will meet and exceed your customers’ needs.
Log into your account at our Online Portal to view available inventory and place an order, or reach out to your sales rep today.