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The global disposable medical gloves market size was USD 5.98 billion in 2019. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with disposable medical gloves witnessing a positive demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global disposable medical gloves market will exhibit a stellar growth of 95.2% in 2020. The market is projected to drop from USD 11.68 billion in 2020 to USD 11.52 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of -0.19% in the 2020-2027 period. The sudden fall in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Apart from the COVID-19 pandemic, the increasing health and hygiene standards, growing penetration of synthetic medical gloves, and the rising number of surgeries is likely to surge the demand for disposable medical gloves during the forecast period. Moreover, technological advancements in glove manufacturing such as the use of moisturizing agents for easy donning, antimicrobial technology, and manufacturing of textured gloves to aid the grip of the glove are likely to fuel the growth of the medical gloves market during the forecast period.
COVID-19 Pandemic to Surge the Demand for Medical Gloves
The impact of COVID-19 is clearly visible in the medical gloves sector as it has triggered the adoption of medical gloves for personal health and safety among common people. The COVID-19 outbreak has led to steady growth in the demand for medical gloves, which consequently has had a huge impact on the global market. For instance, the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA) expects the demand for medical gloves to rise by 16% to 345 billion gloves in 2020 in comparison to last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Malaysia is the largest supplier of rubber gloves globally and it is projected that during this pandemic, Malaysia’s market share will increase by 2% and reach 65% as compared to 63% in 2019.
To meet this unprecedented surge in demand, the market players have adopted various inorganic and organic growth strategies such as collaborations, increasing production capacities, launches, and others. For instance, Sri Trang Gloves (Thailand) Ltd. is planning to raise its production capacity of rubber gloves by 18.5% of its annual production capacity with the help of funds raised through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to address the global glove shortage.
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Gradual Shift towards Powder-free Gloves to Fuel Market Growth
Today, the prevention of transmissible infections in surgical practice settings is becoming essential. The appropriate use and selection of medical gloves is the key component in infection prevention strategies. There are numerous health risks associated with powdered gloves such as latex allergies, which has lowered their usage.
Hence, there is a shift towards powder-free medical gloves because they generally contain fewer chemicals and endotoxins, making them less allergic and more skin tolerable. Key industry players are engaged in launching powder-free medical gloves due to their increasing demand.
Therefore, due to the allergic reactions and contaminations caused by these gloves’ powder, in January 2017, the FDA banned the use of powdered gloves in the public health sector (both surgical and patient examination gloves).
Growing Patient Population and Increase in Medical Tourism to Propel the Market
The rapid growth in the prevalence of chronic diseases across the globe and the rise in patient populations are likely to drive the global market in the forthcoming years. There has been an increment in healthcare expenditure by governments across several countries to establish a strong healthcare infrastructure and offer advanced treatment opportunities to the patients.
An increasing proportion of people in many emerging economies using both public and private healthcare facilities is one of the major factors driving the disposable medical gloves market growth. The growth in medical tourism, along with the presence of a large patient population, is likely to augment the demand for disposable gloves. Additionally, growing awareness about healthcare facilities in rural areas, increasing incidence of chronic and infectious diseases, enhanced diagnosis rate, and rise in per capita healthcare expenditure are anticipated to fuel the demand for these products.
The growing geriatric population is also expected to alter the volume and the types of healthcare services offered by the developed countries with an increase in the prevalence of various diseases. This is further anticipated to propel the demand for disposable medical gloves. For instance, according to the United Nations, the global population of people aged 60 years or above was 962 million in 2017 and is projected to reach 2.1 billion by 2050.
Rising Number of Medical Practitioners and Growing Medical Procedures to Drive the Market
A growing number of doctors in the private and public healthcare sectors is likely to increase the usage of medical gloves. Moreover, the increasing number of medical procedures globally will also promote the medical disposable gloves market growth during the forecast period. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), in 2016, it was estimated that around 84.6% of children and 64.4% of adults undergo dental surgical procedures, which is likely to rise in the forthcoming years. Additionally, the growing number of ophthalmologists, increasing number of cataract surgeries, and rising orthopedic surgeries are likely to provide impetus to the market during the forecast period.
Price Volatility of Raw Materials to Hamper Growth
Medical disposable gloves are made of natural or synthetic rubber. Raw materials account for a major portion, comprising almost half of the overall operating costs of medical glove manufacturing. Using cheaper raw materials can lead to less strength, durability, flexibility, and toxicity problems, thereby hampering the overall quality of the gloves.
The price of the raw materials depends upon the natural rubber prices prevailing in the market for natural glove production and nitrile prices for synthetic glove production. Hence, the cost of producing rubber gloves and their selling price is unpredictable, which in turn may challenge the growth of the market in the coming years.
For instance, according to a published research article on Asian Briefing, in early 2016, natural rubber prices fell by nearly 70 percent due to low crude oil prices and declining demand from China, while early 2017 witnessed a steep hike in rubber glove prices due to heavy rainfall and flooding disrupting production, including a 55 percent increase in the price of latex.
Examination Gloves Segment Generated the Highest Revenue in 2019
Based on application, the market is categorized into examination gloves and surgical gloves. The examination gloves segment dominated the market in 2019. The dominance of the segment is attributable to the growing adoption of these gloves during several diagnostic tests among the healthcare providers and the rising number of product launches. For instance, according to a research article, diagnostic tests are performed close to 7 billion times each year in the United States. The segment witnessed a drastic rise in revenue in 2020 attributable to the rise in demand for examination gloves to combat the emerging COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing awareness about the use of exam gloves for routine checkups to prevent cross-contamination.
Synthetic Medical Gloves Segment to Exhibit Significant CAGR
In terms of material, the market is divided into latex gloves and synthetic gloves. The synthetic gloves segment is further categorized into nitrile, vinyl, and others. The latex gloves segment dominated the market owing to the superior qualities of latex gloves such as stretching excellent fit, desired grip for critical surgeries, and a very smooth touch. However, the growing incidence of latex allergies has resulted in the growing adoption of synthetic gloves among medical professionals, thereby helping the synthetic gloves segment gain significant share in the coming years.
The materials used in the manufacture of medical gloves create non-biodegradable medical waste and an increasing burden on the landfills. Advances in the material type to develop eco-friendly gloves are likely to propel the adoption of gloves by environment lovers as the currently available gloves in the market are non-degradable. For example, Showa, one of the medical gloves manufacturers has introduced Eco Best Technology (EBT) that allows nitrile and other synthetic fibers within gloves to biodegrade in landfills.
Powder-free Gloves to Hold Leading Position in the Market
Based on category, the market is divided into powdered and powder-free gloves. The powder-free gloves segment dominates the market owing to the ban on the use of powdered latex gloves by the U.S. FDA due to the growing incidence of asthma and other respiratory conditions, conjunctivitis, rhinitis, granuloma formation, and peritoneal adhesions. Patients who underwent surgeries complained about these allergies due to the surgeon’s use of powdered gloves. Further, the powder can carry natural latex proteins into the bloodstream (especially if wet) leading to exacerbation of latex allergies. In January 2017, therefore, the FDA banned the use of powdered gloves in the public health sector (both surgical and patient examination gloves) because of the risks associated with them.
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Hospitals and Clinics Segment Held 49.1% Share in 2019
Based on end users, the market is segmented into hospitals & clinics, diagnostic or pathology labs, dental clinics, and others. Among them, the hospitals & clinics segment is likely to hold the dominant share and is poised to expand at a significant rate during the forecast period. This dominance is attributable to the growing number of public and private hospitals in developing nations such as China and India.
Additionally, strategic collaborations between key players and many hospitals and consolidating healthcare facilities will also drive the global market. For instance, according to a survey conducted by the American Hospital Association in 2019, it is estimated that the number of hospitals increased by 700 in the United States, among which, 400 are community hospitals. An increase in diagnostic and pathology labs and the growing number of medical practitioners are also fueling the demand for disposable medical gloves.
North America Disposable Medical Gloves Market Size, 2019 (USD Billion)
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North America generated revenue of USD 2.68 billion in 2019 and is expected to continue its dominance on the disposable medical gloves market share during the forecast period. This is owing to the rising awareness about the prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and the growing demand for high-quality polyisoprene gloves for surgeries. Moreover, stringent guidelines imposed on the use of infection protection devices by the regulatory agencies in the U.S. and Canada also play a crucial role in the regional market.
Europe is anticipated to hold the second-largest share owing to the high consumption of medical disposable gloves in countries such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and others. According to Hartalega Holdings Bhd, the Netherlands is the highest per capita glove-consuming country with a per capita consumption of 276 pieces, followed by Denmark and Germany, which consume per capita 259 and 208 gloves respectively.
Asia Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth in the forthcoming years. The market here will be driven by the growing adoption of nitrile gloves for examination. This is attributable to their puncture-resistance and the reduction in the cost of nitrile gloves, making them affordable and a viable alternative for people with latex allergies.
The Middle East and Africa region will have high growth in the market due to increasing healthcare awareness and expenditure.
Innovations in Glove Manufacturing Technologies and Increasing Production Capacity to Drive Growth
The global medical gloves industry is dominated by Malaysian suppliers such as Top Glove Corporation, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, and others. These companies account for more than 63% of the total supply of rubber gloves owing to the availability of natural rubber latex in Malaysia. For instance, in January 2019, Top Glove Corporation Bhd announced the launch of its newest medical glove, the BioGreen Biodegradable Nitrile Gloves (Powder-Free). However, the surgical gloves segment is dominated by MNCs such as Ansell, Cardinal Health, and Mölnlycke Health Care AB, among others. The market is consolidated with a few players holding the largest market share.
Leading players in the market are focusing on the expansion of production capacities, investments in nitrile glove production and distribution, research and development on finding alternatives to powdered latex gloves, and strategic partnerships with local distributors to establish global footprints.
An Infographic Representation of Disposable Medical Gloves Market
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The disposable medical gloves market report provides qualitative and quantitative insights into the market at global as well as regional level along with the detailed analysis of market size and growth rate for all possible segments in the market.
Moreover, the research report provides an elaborative analysis of the global market dynamics and competitive landscape. Various key insights presented in the report are the price trend analysis, recent industry developments in the market, such as mergers & acquisitions, healthcare industry overview by key countries, and overview of latex allergy along with competitive landscape and company profiles.
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market value stood at US$ 5.98 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach US$ 11.52 billion by 2027.
The market is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of -0.19% (negative CAGR reflects impact of COVID-19 in the year 2020 i.e. start of the forecast period) in the forecast period.
The examination gloves segment is expected to be the leading segment in the market during the forecast period.
Technological advancements, healthcare awareness, rise in healthcare expenditure, increasing number of surgeries performed, and growing adoption of high cost synthetic gloves in emerging regions are likely to drive the global market.
Top Glove Corporation Bhd, Hartalega Holdings Bhd, Cardinal Health, Elite Surgical, Ansell Ltd, and Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd are the top players in the market.
North America is expected to hold the highest market share in the market.
A shift in the demand from latex gloves to synthetic gloves, growing adoption of powder-free gloves, and increasing strategic mergers and acquisitions among leading players are the top market trends.
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