Industry Updates

Natural Rubber Latex
Photo by Bloomberg.

Malaysian Glovemakers Fall on Higher Rubber, Ringgit

Rubber futures reached a 20-month high in Tokyo trading April 12, increasing the cost of latex used in medical and industrial gloves. With higher latex costs and potential pricier energy costs, we see growing concern for earlier-than-expected margin compression. Glove makers have outpaced the broader market in the past 12 months as global health scares bolstered medical glove demand. Global demand rose by 10 billion units last year, while Malaysia manufacturers increased output by less than 5 billion pieces. (more)

Rubber Reaches 20-Month High as China’s Growth Boosts Demand

Rubber climbed to a 20-month high as China’s economic growth accelerated, boosting speculation demand will grow for the commodity used in tires. Supply from Thailand is declining, while demand in China is expanding. Futures have risen 21% this year as global economies recovered from the worst postwar recession, boosting sales of cars and tires. A seasonal decline in output in Thailand, the largest producer, also increased prices. (more)

Malaysian Glove Makers Rally on Obama’s Health Bill

Glovemakers rally upon speculation President Barack Obama’s U.S. health bill will boost sales. Obama’s $940 billion overhaul of U.S. health legislation subsidizes coverage for uninsured Americans, financed by Medicare cuts to hospitals and fees or taxes on insurers, drugmakers, medical-device companies and Americans earning more than $200,000 a year. The bill may lead to higher demand for examination gloves when Americans start to visit health-care centers more frequently. (more)

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