At present, the global demand for latex gloves, especially medical latex gloves, continues to rise. A Thai research institute believes that latex is the main raw material for latex gloves, and concentrated latex will become Thailand's main rubber product. The agency predicts that the price of fresh latex in Thailand is expected to rise in the short term. From the remainder of 2020 until 2021, the price of fresh latex will be around 53-58 baht per kilogram.
The agency predicts that in the short term, from 2020 to 2021, the total value of the global natural latex glove market will increase by 16.0% and 14.9%, respectively. In the first nine months of 2020, the total export volume of latex gloves in Thailand increased by 34.9% year-on-year, and the export volume of medical latex gloves increased by 61.6% year-on-year (the average year-on-year growth from 2014 to 2019 was only 0.3%), which was higher than the average growth rate of other types of gloves ( 34.1%), consistent with Thailand’s export volume of concentrated latex increased by 3.3% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2020, while the export volume of smoked film and rubber block decreased by 25.9% and 37.4% respectively.
The agency believes that concentrated latex will become Thailand's main rubber product in the short to medium term, due to the support of continuous demand from downstream industries. In the upper reaches of the rubber industry chain, most farmers who obtain latex by tapping sell fresh latex directly; in the middle of the rubber industry chain, rubber processing plants near the rubber plantation area purchase fresh latex from farmers and process them into concentrated latex, film, and rubber. Some farmers form cooperatives to process the fresh latex into concentrated latex to obtain better prices.
The agency also predicts that the total value of the global latex glove market from 2020 to 2027 will continue to grow at an average annual rate of 12.6%, which will drive the continued growth of concentrated latex demand. As the La Niña phenomenon of increased rainfall enters into a weakening cycle, the supply of rubber will increase with climatic conditions conducive to production. However, the average growth rate of rubber production may be lower than the average growth rate of the world's demand for latex gloves, so that the overall price of rubber can continue to be maintained.