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April 30, 2011
Market Conditions Affecting Disposable Gloves
Effect of the Earthquake in Japan:
The earthquake in Japan will have a material effect on the producers of examination and disposable gloves. Some of the world’s largest suppliers of the Nitrile and PVC raw materials are located in Japan, and could potentially have delays in production due to issues surrounding the earthquake and subsequent damage.

Raw Material Pricing:
Raw materials make up a large part, up to 60%, of the cost of manufacturing of an examination or disposable glove. Vinyl and Nitrile raw materials, both petroleum by-products, and have begun rising in the last 90 days. PVC (poly vinyl chloride) resins and plasticizers have risen 6.5% in this time period and Nitrile rubber latex raw material has risen over 13%. These raw materials are used in many products, not just gloves. Some examples are tires, automotive belts & hoses, insulation on electrical wiring, and industrial piping. In the last year, the natural rubber latex has risen over 54%, with other raw materials remaining fairly stable.

Both these materials are projected to rise sharply in the immediate future due to a few items: there are a small number of raw material producers with limited production; increased worldwide demand for the raw materials driven by double digit growth in the economies of China and India; the move to latex-free glove environments in the United States and Europe; and potential supply interruptions due to the natural disaster in Japan.

Malaysian Energy Issue:
Petronas, the natural gas supplier in Malaysia will be shut down for major maintenance work from March 30 to April 12 and April 29 to May 10. The upstream facilities shutdown will lead to several manufacturing companies having to reduce their gas consumption significantly during this time. This may lead to tightness in both raw material and finished goods supply from producers in those affected areas.

If you need additional information or assistance on technical issues concerning Sempermed gloves, please contact our Customer Service representatives at 800-366-9545.