Recently, Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad and LG Chem signed an agreement to establish a nitrile latex (NBL) production plant at Pengerang Petroleum Complex (PIPC) in Johor to target the growing nitrile gloves Market, further consolidating Malaysia’s position as the world’s largest glove exporter. It is understood that the plant will begin construction in 2021 and put into production in 2023; after completion, its NBL production capacity will reach 200,000 tons per year.
Disposable medical gloves: Disposable medical gloves can be divided into latex gloves, PVC gloves and nitrile gloves according to the glove material. Among them, latex gloves and nitrile gloves are the more mainstream medical gloves materials. Nitrile gloves have high strength and excellent chemical resistance, can well prevent human allergies, and have high elasticity and high fitting comfort. With the continuous improvement of the production process of nitrile gloves, it will partially replace latex in the high-end medical field. The market share of gloves continues to rise.
Nitrile gloves are widely used in industries such as healthcare, medicine and food to supplement existing natural rubber gloves. The main raw material of nitrile latex is butadiene, which is the core raw material for the production of nitrile rubber gloves. The global demand for nitrile rubber gloves is currently in a period of rapid growth. Both parties will optimize resources to create new revenue streams, open up new markets, and develop high value-added products through continuous R&D and investment.
At present, global glove production is mainly concentrated in Southeast Asia and China. According to the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA), based on the global production of nitrile gloves in 2019, Malaysia accounts for 63% of global glove production, Thailand 18%, and China 10% , Vietnam accounted for 3%. Based on usage habits and legal and regulatory requirements, developed countries such as the United States, the European Union, and Japan are the main consumer markets for disposable nitrile gloves, and demand continues to be strong; China may become the main consumer market for nitrile gloves.
In 2020, the new crown pneumonia epidemic situation continues to ferment, people's awareness of health and daily protection is becoming stronger, and the demand for disposable nitrile gloves in emerging markets is expected to be released quickly. In recent years, the average annual demand growth rate of nitrile gloves has exceeded 10%, and it is expected to account for 70% of the entire latex glove market by 2024. Malaysia's renewed efforts in the production of nitrile latex revealed the country's determination to defend its status as the world's largest exporter of gloves.