PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's rubber glove industry expects to generate revenue of RM18.8 billion this year, up from RM16.2 billion in 2017, due to robust global demand, says the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma).
President Denis Low Jau Foo said global demand for rubber gloves continued to rise and is anticipated to increase to 268 billion pieces this year from 232.2 billion in 2017.
“Malaysia is expected to supply 63 per cent or 168.8 billion gloves which will translate into a projected revenue of RM18.8 billion in 2018,” he added.
He was speaking to reporters here today in an update of the rubber glove industry and the upcoming 9th International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition (IRGCE) 2018.
Low said the United States (US) remained Malaysia's biggest rubber glove export destination in accounting for 36 per cent of the total exports and followed by the European Union (30 per cent).
“Although China and India combined to contribute only eight per cent currently to our rubber glove exports, we still view Asia as a huge growth potential destination due to its growing population,” he said.
Asked about the current trade spat between the US and China, Low said no country would benefit from a trade war in the long run.
Margma committee member Datuk Lee Kim Meow believed the trade war is temporary, and both China and the US will go back to the negotiation table to find a better solution.
Moving forward, Low expected natural rubber prices to jump between five-10 per cent by end-2018 due to the year-end monsoon season, which would curb production.
He said Malaysia's natural rubber production averaged 750,000 tonnes annually and the country was among the top-five natural rubber producers in the world.
Meanwhile, the IRGCE will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from Sept 4-6, 2018. The biennial conference aims to facilitate global discussions on the rubber glove industry-related developments and exchange of ideas.
“The number of exhibition booths has increased to 514 booths this year compared with 272 in 2016. We expect this year's event to attract 800 conference participants and over 10,000 foreign trade visitors,” Low said. - Bernama