Thai firm’s orders for rubber gloves soar on global COVID-19 pandemic
BANGKOK, NNA—Thailand’s industrial rubber producer Sri Trang Agro Industry Public Co. reported strong demand for gloves during the first quarter of 2020 as consumers focused intently on hygiene during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The company said in a June 5 financial report that first-quarter orders worth 3.8 billion baht ($122 million), a 29.2 percent increase over the same period last year.
Consumer concerns about hygiene drove that demand, Sri Trang Agro Executive Director Veerasith Sinchareonkul said at a teleconference on the same day.
“Before COVID-19, 80 percent of our rubber gloves sales were used for medical purposes, but after COVID-19, we saw a big percentage of rubber gloves sales used for cleanliness and health concerns,” he said at a teleconference on the same day.
The Thai rubber products maker forecasts annual 5 percent growth in the global rubber glove market through 2023. The growth would be in line with increased healthcare spending. An aging population, supportive government policies, increased access to medical services and greater exposure to disease would also drive the trend, Veerasith said.
The company has set a target of producing 33 billion pieces of rubber gloves this year, Veerasith said, up from 19.9 billion last year. Sri Trang Agro operates three rubber glove plants in southern Thailand now, and three more are expected to come online, the financial report says.
Rubber glove sales contributed 22 percent of the company’s revenue in the first quarter, according to the report.