Stronger ringgit and limited feedstocks makes costlier medical gloves

September 12, 2017 | By | Reply More

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PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma), today, said medical gloves prices will rise between 9 and 12 per cent, due to costlier feedstock and a stronger ringgit against the US dollar.

“Prices of butadiene and natural rubber latex, the two main feedstock for medical gloves, are rising,” said Margma president Denis Low Jau Foo.

Hurricane Irma which is currently wreaking havoc in the coastal areas of the United States has caused prices of butadiene, an important material in the production of nitrile latex, to soar as its production has been severely affected.

This Friday, the International Tripartite Rubber Council, of which governments of Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia will meet in Bangkok to cut global rubber exports, in the hope pricing would rise to a more remunerative level for farmers across southeast Asia.

Low went on to highlight the rising strength of the ringgit against the greenback. From RM4.50 to US$1 in January 2017, the US dollar is today trading at RM4.20 to US$1. “This means the ringgit has strengthened by 7 per cent against the US dollar.”

“Thus, it is absolutely necessary for glove manufacturers to increase their prices in order to pay for the increased production costs,” he said in a statement.

The exchange rate has a direct bearing on business profits and returns to shareholders. “We have no choice but to advise members to raise glove prices to better reflect the sharp jump in production cost,” Low said.

Margma has also caution members to limit their validity date so as not to get caught out in the unpredictability of rubber and butadiene prices.

“As manufacturers, we want natural rubber prices to be stable and for farmers to be adequately compensated for their work.

“We are on the same side as rubber smallholders in opposing unreasonable speculation on commodity pricing and profiteering,” said Low.

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