Firms ready to supply more gloves if virus spreads


  • Business
  • Saturday, 25 Jan 2020

Commenting on the market situation and trends for 2020 and beyond on the continents, Low said that the industry is expecting an inevitable rise in cost relating to wages, utilities, packaging and the extra cost incurred in ensuring a conducive working environment for all its workers.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) says its members are all geared up to produce more gloves to meet the requirements if the coronavirus outbreak becomes a pandemic.

“While we may be having a shortage of workers and the fact that we cannot have more overtime, the industry will then have to tweak the production lines to run at optimum levels, to churn out the medical gloves to supply to the world.

“Already, there are serious ongoing procurement of gloves, from the affected areas and if it becomes pandemic, the demand can be ASTROnomical. Taking a lesson from the H1N1 virus and the notion that the coronavirus can be much more worse than H1N1, the rubber glove industry would certainly ramp up production to meet the demand; purely from a humanitarian stance, ” said its president Denis Low.

During the period of H1N1, medical glove consumption grew by 17%. According to Low, its members would surely provide the necessary humanitarian services to the healthcare sector.

“We hope and pray that the virus can be contained and would not spread as quickly as the H1N1. However, if the situation warrants it, we would be ready and would be able to provide enough medical gloves for the world, ” he noted in a statement.

Commenting on the market situation and trends for 2020 and beyond on the continents, Low said that the industry is expecting an inevitable rise in cost relating to wages, utilities, packaging and the extra cost incurred in ensuring a conducive working environment for all its workers.

Meanwhile, CGS-CIMB Equities Research said it is retaining its “overweight” outlook on glove-makers, with Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd and Top Glove Corp Bhd as the top picks.

“In the long term, we believe that this virus outbreak would lead to higher healthcare awareness especially in emerging countries, and in turn boost glove demand, ” it said in a recent research note.

CGS-CIMB Research expects the glove sector’s earnings prospects to improve, supported by better supply-demand dynamics. The research house said based on its channel checks, glove-makers under its coverage have yet to witness a surge in demand, owing to the virus outbreak.

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