As the soaring demand for PPE decreases due to the global decline in Covid positivity rates, the Journal of Commerce reports the demand for gloves will remain strong as vaccinations continue.
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a 45% increase in global demand for nitrile disposable gloves. Put into figures, the supply and demand deficit equates to a shortfall of 214 billion disposable gloves; demand initially exploded while the supply was only growing incrementally. However, as the pandemic slowly recedes, the demand for gloves in some industries has reduced, and together with production having started in newly built glove factories and production lines, this is alleviating the deficit inequality.
During the pandemic many new entrants, traders and brokers came into the PPE space with little or no experience and an intention to simply trade and make money. This has resulted in the glove market being flooded with counterfeit and reject quality gloves; even used gloves being repackaged and sold. As some Chinese factory prices start to decrease, many of these newer entrants and traders are bailing out of their poor quality junk gloves and dumping them into the food market. Unfortunately, many of those affected by collateral damage are medical and food businesses who received the defective and dangerous gloves, risking medical and food safety procedures, organic certifications and recalls. The false economy of cheap gloves is always attractive to those looking for short-term cost savings, however, long-term these are a danger to consumers and business.
If you’re approached with “wholesale” or “discounted” prices for nitrile gloves, especially bulk purchases, these are likely to be poor quality and sourced from dealers unable to find a direct market. Pricing from reputable factories are predicted to reduce around August, although in some cases these are negated by the skyrocketing national and international freight prices.
Before putting your company and customers at risk by purchasing discounted gloves, consider the following:1. Is the glove supplier reputable, with a long history of glove sourcing and experience?
- Do they have an established website, including an established blog, published articles and social media platforms?
- Are testimonials and customer references available online?
- Are online educational resources available online?
- Ask for factory audits and HACCP compliance certifications
- Ensure you undergo a commercial trial of products prior to committing to purchasing. Any established and reputable company will happily send glove samples to trial.
- Be wary of vinyl /nitrile mixed gloves sold as nitrile - sample first before you buy
- If tempted to purchase vinyl gloves, first consider the food safety implications, glove wearer and environment implications of these.