Thriving healthcare sector a boost to disposal glove market

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 9): A thriving healthcare sector, particularly in Southeast Asian countries, has been a “shot in the arm” for the disposal glove market, according to Frost & Sullivan.

“Countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore have emerged as medical tourism hubs and expectedly, there is a discernible rise in the availability of medical insurance facilities and number of hospitals,” it said in a press release today.

It added that this growth, along with the large population in these countries, has augmented the demand for medical disposable gloves, which constitute at least 50% of the total number of disposable gloves sold globally.

According to the market research company, the disposable gloves market earned revenues of more than US$309.8 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach US$435.7 million in 2018.

“Being highly price sensitive, the market holds considerable potential for glove manufacturers that are able to deliver quality products at affordable rates.

“As the region is home to a number of low-quality manufacturers that compete on price, the competition is stiff,” said Frost & Sullivan Chemicals, Materials & Food Research Analyst Aparna Balasubramanian.

It added that despite their cost consciousness, consumers were willing to test out new products such as nitrile gloves due to the allergic reactions common to traditional latex gloves.

Nitrile gloves had proven to be far superior to rubber gloves due to their high resilience, higher elasticity and elastic memory, and less propensity to wear and tear, it said.

“Already, more than 30% to 35% of all disposable gloves sold in the region are nitrile,” said Balasubramanian, adding that the higher adoption rates and prices of nitrile gloves are boosting the overall revenue growth rates of the disposable gloves market.

She added that overall, the market is exhibiting high growth prospects due to the improving awareness regarding health and hygiene, compliance levels, and economic outlook for countries in the region.