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Rubber glove sector robust

News Dec-13 (1)

BY INTAN FARHANA ZAINUL

From left: Wee Chai, Thai, Kwee Shyan, Kuang Sia and Kuan at the Rubber Glove Industry 2013 Media Round Table.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s exports of rubber gloves are projected to increase to RM11.5bil by the year-end, up 9% from 2012’s RM10.56bil, said the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association.

The figure, however, was lower than the RM14bil target set by the association.

President Lim Kwee Shyan said the lower increase was due to low raw material prices and the jump in the exports of nitrile gloves. As of September this year, total glove exports from Malaysia amounted to RM7.9bil.

“Nitrile glove prices are lower compared with rubber gloves,” said Kwee Shyan.

The association expects exports of synthetic gloves to overtake natural rubber gloves for the first time next year.

Speaking to reporters at the Rubber Glove Industry 2013 Media Round Table yesterday, Kwee Shyan said he expected global demand for rubber gloves to increase 8% to 10% from 150 billion pieces a year now.

“Demand for medical rubber gloves is set to remain robust on the back of population growth and improvement in health quality,” said Kossan Rubber Industries Bhdmanaging director and chief executive officer Datuk Lim Kuang Sia.

He added that demand for nitrile gloves would continue to grow, moving forward.

Malaysia is expected to export 96 billion pieces of gloves this year, accounting for 63% of world demand.

Meanwhile, on the latest electricity tariff hike, the industry players said they would prefer the Government to increase the tariff gradually to minimise the impact.

“If it’s done in a gradual manner, then it would give us ample time to work on it and hence the impact can be minimised,” said Kuang Sia at the roundtable.

It is reported that rubber glove players were hoping the Government would increase the electricity tariff for the industrial category by 8% instead of the 16.85% announced.

Also present at the event were Top Glove Corp Bhd chairman Tan Sri Lim Wee Chai,Supermax Corp Bhd executive chairman and group managing director Datuk SeriStanley Thai and Hartalega Holdings Bhd managing director Kuan Mun Leong.