Why Have Nitrile Glove Prices Increased Dramatically?

Worldwide demand for nitrile disposable gloves continues to be 20-25% more than total available supply:

  • Medical usage has increased substantially with covid19, and will continue to increase with the roll-out of vaccines.
  • Governments have increased stockpiling to avoid future supply issues.
  • Supply has reduced due to factory lockdowns and reduced labour force (social distancing in factories).
  • Pre-covid, factories typically worked on 3-5 month lead times to ensure full production – this is now 12-24 months at best, for any new non-scheduled orders.

 

Why cannot factories just produce more gloves?

  • To produce gloves cost effectively, the manufacturing process is quite involved, and requires substantial equipment including ceramic glove formers, dip tanks, conveyor lines, cooker ovens, and packing lines. 
  • Various companies are building new production lines and even new factories, however the majority of this extra volume won’t be hitting the market until late 2021 at the earliest.
  • Which has caused the whole supply chain from raw materials through to end manufacturer to continue to increase pricing. 

 

Why then has pricing increased so much?

  • Raw material suppliers have increased their pricing on the raw NBR and associated ingredients.
  • Factory costs have increased due to labour constraints and increased operating costs.
  • Factories have increased their pricing due to the high demand and low supply

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