The Disposable Glove Industry Is In The Ascendant, Domestic Manufacturers Are Expected To Overtake Corners

- Jan 19, 2021-

Since 2020, the epidemic caused by the new coronavirus has spread rapidly at home and abroad. As of June 18, the cumulative number of infections worldwide has exceeded 8.4 million, and the death toll has exceeded 440,000. Judging from the current situation, there is still no obvious turning point in global epidemic prevention and control. In the next stage, as countries begin to resume work and production, it may trigger a second outbreak of the epidemic. Recently, the number of infected people in Brazil, India, Russia and other regions has increased rapidly. It is also confirming this trend. As a result, the medical community currently generally believes that the epidemic will not be effectively controlled within this year, and the world will face a long-term coexistence with the epidemic.


   Under the background that the epidemic is difficult to control in the short term, how to effectively isolate the virus has become the focus of residents' daily protection. The "Diagnosis and Treatment Plan for Pneumonia of New Coronavirus Infection" pointed out that the virus is mainly spread through respiratory droplets and contact. Therefore, wearing masks and gloves has become an effective measure to block the spread of the new coronavirus. In the A-share market, the share price of Intech Medical (300677), whose main business is disposable gloves, has increased by more than 500% this year, ranking first in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets, which has also greatly increased the capital market’s attention to the disposable glove industry. .


   The demand for disposable gloves continues to be strong


It is understood that disposable gloves can be divided into latex gloves, nitrile gloves and PVC gloves according to the material. Among them, latex has the disadvantages of causing skin allergies and higher prices for some people. Nitrile gloves can prevent skin allergies well and have The advantages of high elasticity and high fit give users greater comfort. With the continuous improvement of the manufacturing process of nitrile gloves, it has begun to replace latex gloves in the high-end medical field, and its market share has continued to rise.


   In recent years, the global disposable protective gloves market has grown steadily. In 2017, the global sales volume reached 417 billion, and the compound annual growth rate from 2005 to 2017 was about 8%. According to the China Plastics Association and the Malaysian Glove Industry Association, the global market capacity of medical-grade gloves in 2017 was approximately 270 billion. Among them, the demand for PVC gloves is about 75 billion, with an average compound growth rate of 3% from 2009 to 2017; the demand for nitrile and latex gloves is about 200 billion, with an average annual compound growth rate of about 8%-10%.


   With the global spread of the epidemic, the demand for various medical protective products such as nitrile gloves and PVC gloves has soared around the world. Disposable gloves are in short supply globally. At the same time, as countries such as Europe and the United States gradually resume work and production, residents' demand for disposable gloves will further increase. In addition, after the normalization of the epidemic, global public health and health protection awareness has been structurally improved, and countries will gradually begin to improve their emergency response capacity systems, which will also drive long-term demand for health protection products.


   From historical experience, every major public health event is a catalyst to increase the demand for the disposable glove industry. U.S. residents developed the habit of using disposable gloves during the AIDS outbreak in the 1990s. SARS in 2003 and H1N1 influenza in 2009 also greatly increased the global demand for disposable gloves. And after the epidemic ended, the demand for gloves did not fall. The reason is that the epidemic has increased the overall protection awareness of residents, and governments of various countries will also regulate the use of disposable gloves after the epidemic. Professionals pointed out that the impact of the new crown epidemic on the world far exceeds SARS, and it is expected that the demand for disposable protective gloves is expected to maintain high growth for a long time in the future.


   Market share is accelerating to the leading position


   In the case of continued strong demand, the global glove production capacity cannot be increased significantly in the short term, mainly because the technical difficulty and capital investment in the construction of the glove production line are very huge. Different from protective products such as masks, disposable gloves processing equipment is non-standard, and each manufacturer needs to develop, design and construct by itself. Taking Intech Medical as an example, the length of the main chain of its nitrile glove production line is close to 1.5 kilometers and there are about 3000 control points. It is extremely difficult to make the production line run efficiently, stably and with low energy consumption and ensure product quality. There is no experience in the production of disposable gloves. It is difficult for other manufacturers to enter.


   At the same time, a nitrile two-hand mold production line invests about 20 million yuan. Taking into account the size and color of the gloves, the general production line construction starts with ten. According to this calculation, the investment threshold for the nitrile glove factory exceeds 200 million yuan. In addition, the construction period of the nitrile glove production line is relatively long. It takes at least 14-18 months for a project plan to realize the first production line and put it into operation. When the epidemic trend is unknown, only leading manufacturers with technical and financial advantages dare Build a large-scale butyronitrile production line.


In terms of production expansion, the domestic manufacturer Intech Medical is at the forefront of the industry. The company has steadily promoted the construction of the Anhui production base in 2019. As of the end of 2019, the company has an annual production capacity of 19 billion gloves. At the same time, there are 20 nitrile products this year. Two-hand mold production lines and 10 PVC two-hand mold production lines have been completed and put into production one after another, increasing the production capacity of about 9 billion gloves per year. After the outbreak of the epidemic, the company successively announced plans to invest in the construction of a number of high-end medical glove expansion projects in Anhui and Jiangxi. The goal is to have a total production capacity of more than 100 billion in the next three to five years, and become a global leader in disposable gloves. .


   With the rapid spread of the overseas epidemic, Malaysian glove manufacturers have also begun to accelerate the expansion of glove production capacity. The top gloves are expected to increase the production capacity of about 20 billion gloves by the end of 2021. He Tejia plans to increase the production capacity of about 5.6 billion nitrile gloves in 2020. Considering that the production lines of many small and medium manufacturers in the industry were built before 2012, with the gradual commissioning of new production lines of leading manufacturers, the elimination of small and medium manufacturers with low automation, low production efficiency and high energy consumption will be accelerated, and the market share of the disposable glove industry Will accelerate to focus on the leader.

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  Domestic manufacturers are expected to overtake in corners


   From a global perspective, Malaysia is still the main supplier of nitrile gloves, and its head manufacturers mainly include Top Gloves, Hetejia, Keshan Rubber, and Supermax. According to the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association data, the global demand for rubber gloves (nitrile, latex) in 2019 is about 300 billion, of which Malaysia’s production is about 188 billion, accounting for 63% of the global rubber glove supply, while China’s only Is 10%.


  Different from latex gloves, the main raw materials of nitrile gloves are chemical products such as butadiene. Compared with Malaysia, my country has greater advantages in raw material supply chain matching, energy cost and production efficiency, and domestic nitrile gloves manufacturers are expected to catch up. For example, Intech's medical glove production bases are located in Zibo, Qingzhou and Suixi. These areas have dry climates and moderate temperatures, which are very suitable for the production of PVC and nitrile gloves. The Shandong base is close to Qingdao Port and adjacent to Qilu Petrochemical Company, a large national petrochemical company. The raw materials and energy are convenient and cost-effective. In addition, Zibo City is rich in glove ceramic mold resources, and Suixi's location is convenient for railway, highway, waterway, and air transportation, which can effectively reduce the company's production costs.


   It is worth mentioning that, compared with other companies in the industry, Ingram Medical's channel advantage is also very prominent. The chairman of the company, Liu Fangyi, has been engaged in the international trade business of disposable gloves and other protective products, wheelchairs and other nursing products since the 1990s. He has 30 years of industry experience and has achieved significant marketing results for major customers. It is the demand forecast and regulatory requirements of the North American market that are accurately grasped. With the gradual commissioning of glove production in Anhui, Jiangxi and other places, Intech Medical is expected to take advantage of technology, cost and channel advantages to further seize market share and enhance the company's overall competitiveness.