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 covid-19,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-19, 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.