02 June 2020 / 12:06

KUALA LUMPUR (June 2): The demand for medical gloves is estimated to grow by 12% per year in the post-Covid-19 environment, says Top Glove Corp Bhd, stressing, however, that the spike in demand arising from the pandemic is temporary.

“The demand for gloves as an essential item in the health care sector was expected to grow by at least 10% each year, even before the onset of the pandemic,” said Top Glove chairman Tan Sri Dr Lim Wee Chai.

“With increased awareness of the importance of gloves arising from the pandemic, people who started using gloves in recent months are expected to continue using them even after the pandemic recedes, further driving demand, which is estimated to grow by 12% per year in the post-Covid-19 environment.

“It is also important to recognise that the spike in demand arising from Covid-19 is temporary. Indeed, over the past 30 years we have seen many epidemics and pandemics — including SARS, Swine Flu, H1N1, Bird Flu and Ebola — as they happen about once every five years. Covid-19 is part of this repeating cycle,” Lim said in an interview with Oxford Business Group.

He said the growth in demand for medical gloves started in China and South Korea, and then it followed in Europe and the US as the virus spread.

Lim said the expansion efforts of Top Glove, the world’s largest producer, was designed to cater to growing demand over the longer term.

“Our company believes that the market will be able to absorb the additional capacity, and we will continue to expand production and adjust plans if necessary,” he said.

Lim noted that Top Glove was already in expansion mode, even before the Covid-19 outbreak.

“We were building around one or two new factories each year and had spare capacity that we were able to utilise to ramp up production as demand more than doubled due to the pandemic. Indeed, our production utilisation has increased from 85% to nearly 100%,” he added.

The Edge Markets

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