The increase in demand for nitrile gloves since the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, as health and safety and hygiene procedures within medical industries and others such as food, industrial and workplace safety continue to expand.
Pre-pandemic, Malaysia was the leader in nitrile glove manufacturing. However, China has invested heavily in glove manufacturing, and with aggressive pricing and government incentives, is now capturing more market share. Previous U.S. Customs and Border Protection import bans on several of the largest global Malaysian manufacturers, due to forced labor violations, aided China’s expansion.
Nitrile Glove Prices Stabilized, For Now
Supply and demand deficit, together with production cost and capacity, more than tripled nitrile glove costs in 2020. A drop in raw material and production costs together with the huge investment in new manufacturing facilities, has seen nitrile glove prices dropping steadily over the last 12 months. Nitrile glove prices are projected to plateau into 2023, with any variation based on raw material prices and manufacturing competitiveness.
Nitrile Glove Quality Issues
Reject quality gloves have been an issue since the pandemic. Traders and brokers came into the PPE space simply to make money, resulting in counterfeit and reject quality gloves flooding the market. With the recent decline in glove prices, dumping of inferior quality gloves continues to be an issue. Glove ripping and poor performance remains the number one glove problem affecting customers and end users. Some have stocked piled inventory to ensure supply, but are now facing the consequences of an oversupply of poor quality gloves.
This poor quality experienced by many is bad enough to cause a major rethinking of procurement decisions of nitrile gloves. Purchasing poor quality, unusable gloves is not a viable cost saving option, and could contribute to contamination and recall, and user health and safety issues. Recent results of the fecal and microbial contamination of independently tested new and unused disposable nitrile gloves, further highlights their contamination risks.
Eagle Protect’s unique standard ensures Eagle gloves and clothing meet consistently high quality specifications and are manufactured sustainably and ethically via our fully transparent supply chain, at competitive market prices. We safeguard our partner’s businesses by protecting their staff, products and brand reputation through factory visits and independent audits and Delta Zero™ laboratory glove testing. Read how we are raising the industry standard with our five points of difference.