(Updated)

Unusual occurrence: No spike in glove orders as Covid-19 variant drives pandemic resurgence — Hartalega

Unusual occurrence: No spike in glove orders as Covid-19 variant drives pandemic resurgence — Hartalega
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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 7): In an unusual occurrence, Hartalega Holdings Bhd has not seen a spike in rubber glove orders despite the highly-contagious Delta variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the Covid-19 pandemic, as customers rather exhaust their high-price inventories due to declining glove average selling prices (ASPs).

Hartalega chief executive officer Kuan Mun Leong said that despite the current glove industry dynamics as Covid-19 vaccination progresses globally, the company believes that buyers will return once glove ASP normalises and as they weigh the impact of the Covid-19 Delta variant’s aggressive spread on demand for gloves as a crucial personal protective equipment to fight against the pandemic.

“[Also] with the opening of the [western] economies [like the US and UK], you can also see a surge in the number of [Covid-19] infections. 

"So we believe that [glove] purchases should start to creep back up in terms of volume towards the end of the year,” he said today at a virtual media briefing after Hartalega’s annual general meeting.

News reports, quoting the World Health Organization (WHO), reported on July 21, 2021 that the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 is expected to become the dominant strain of the virus over the coming months.

It was reported that the WHO said Delta, which was first detected in India, had then been recorded in 124 territories — 13 more compared to a week earlier — and already accounted for more than three-quarters of sequenced specimens in many major countries.

“It is expected that it will rapidly outcompete other variants and become the dominant circulating lineage over the coming months,” the United Nations (UN) health agency was quoted as saying in its weekly epidemiological update by AFP.

On Bursa Malaysia today, Hartalega’s share price closed unchanged at RM6.91 for a market value of about RM23.63 billion.

Hartalega has 3.42 billion issued shares.

Chong Jin Hun