KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) is optimistic that Malaysia will be able to achieve RM23.6 billion in rubber gloves export revenue this year.

The Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma), in its Industry Brief 2022 released today, projected that Malaysia’s rubber gloves export revenue is expected to reach RM23.6 billion this year, compared to RM17 billion in 2019, and the year-on-year demand growth rate for rubber gloves is 10 to 12% in 2022.

“This projection is when, under normal circumstances, we did not take into consideration the two years of Covid-19 where the export of rubber gloves soared at that time.

“So, this projection is very conservative and I believe we can do better than that. Margma has also identified new countries that we can penetrate into by ensuring that our rubber gloves are still in high demand,” said MPIC Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin.

The minister said this at a press conference after witnessing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Margma, together with the Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC), and 18 major sponsors of the upcoming 10th International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition (IRGCE).

The IRGCE will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from Sept 6-8.

Zuraida also said that the need to use rubber gloves, following a global increase in hygiene culture, will simultaneously increase demand in the rubber gloves market.

“Margma has projected that the use of rubber gloves in the post-pandemic era is expected to increase by 10%.

“I am positive and optimistic because the culture of hygiene has been adopted by people all over the world, so the need to use rubber gloves as a way of life shows that we are a clean society and this will increase the demand for rubber gloves in the market,” she said.

Meanwhile, Margma president Dr Supramaniam Shanmugam said that the industry players are navigating through a challenging time dealing with multiple dynamics with global risks including the prolonged Russia-Ukraine war.

“The association is, nevertheless, confident the industry will see a demand growth of 10% to 12% in 2022.

“As a consequence of increased global healthcare awareness and enhanced regulatory requirements, such demand will grow by 12% to 15% in 2023,” he said.

The global demand for gloves is estimated at 399 billion in 2022, and Malaysia is estimated to produce 240 billion gloves in 2022, according to Margma’s report.

“The Malaysian rubber gloves players, given their experience and long establishment, will be able to overcome these challenges but in order for Malaysia to maintain its leading trade position as the world’s number one exporter of rubber gloves, there is room for improvement in the government’s business-friendly policies that can be favourable to manufacturers.

“The Malaysian rubber glove industry will work closely with all stakeholders to strive to be amongst the first industry in the region to have social compliance as the industry’s unique selling proposition,” he said. – Bernama