October 2022

Market Update

Disposable Glove Market Update

Disposable Glove Market Update

Disposable Glove Market Update

Disposable Glove Market Update

As we head into the last quarter of 2022, the disposable glove market is in a different position from the
previous couple of years. The market is dynamic and continues to be unpredictable, yet opportunities for
glove distributors are everywhere.

The market endured the havoc caused by the first two years of the pandemic. During that time, a surge
in demand for gloves pushed every manufacturer to invest in production capacity, resulting in ample
supply coming online in the second half of 2022. Industry experts point out that COVID-19 has increased
demand for disposable gloves, and not only in medical environments. From restaurants and museums
to daycare centers and janitorial services, prominence in awareness of health, hygiene, and safety keeps
growing, boosting overall demand. Some surveys show that up to 80% of U.S. businesses use disposable
gloves.

The resulting distribution opportunities are not a secret—every business that needs gloves will have
no issues finding them available from dozens of sources. However, for any growing glove distributor
following the unprecedented demand created by the pandemic, this type of competitive environment
can be challenging. As such, when operating at scale, it is essential to prepare yourself with reliable and
redundant resources and respond to customers’ needs with service, flexibility, and speed.

HELPING CLIENTS UNDERSTAND THE MARKET

It is important to consider the pandemic an event whose impact will last beyond one or two years. While
2020 and 2021 were volatile for the disposable glove market, the following two to three years will likely
be less dramatic but just as important and impactful. We are already seeing this—ample capacity, volatile
energy prices, cost of raw materials, transportation, and labor are creating a new normal in the glove
industry. These market dynamics result in every business within the glove market ecosystem questioning
their process and business models. The increase in production capacity has led to a drop in prices at the
factory level. However, this “normalization” is likely to be relatively short, as other costs and market
conditions will lead to some type of equilibrium, possibly through consolidation.

At the same time, overall disposable glove market growth is likely to continue. The glove market has
grown steadily since the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s—and every major health crisis since then, be it
SARS, flu, or COVID, has only pushed the bar higher.

The growth goes beyond medical use cases; industrial glove use is more common than ever. It continues
to spread from such tried-and-true applications as janitorial/sanitation and food service/processing
to automotive and any industrial segment involving direct public contact, such as security, retail, or
transportation.

Despite the reduction in prices at the factory level and cost of ocean freight, costs in procuring gloves
are rising. Most supply chain-related costs, from labor to storage and service, have gone up at double-digit
rates over the last three years and are unlikely to decline. Regardless, the market continues to be
unpredictable.

As you work with clients and understand their needs, now is a great time to educate them on the market
dynamics and qualify your opportunities. For example, can you provide a consistent supply of a product
your clients want? Do you have redundant sources? Do you have visibility into your supply chain
regarding quality inspections and compliance? Your clients are more likely to ask these questions with
ample product availability in the market.

THE GLOVE MARKET CONTINUES TO BE INEFFICIENT –
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND…?

When it comes to sourcing disposable gloves at scale, it is easy to see the many variables in the market,
from raw materials to the supply chain. The more product your clients need, the more questions they ask,
the more demands they put forward—and the riskier it is to support them at scale.

This complexity is on full display. Some importers bought earlier than others. Some moved their inventory
slower or faster as they gained or lost clients. Thus, you might get several different prices on gloves with
similar specs.

Beyond the supply chain items we covered above and in previous updates, there is another byproduct
of the pandemic: inflation, which is impacting suppliers with variable timing. Some saw inflationary
cost increases weeks ago. Others will see them soon. Plus, macroeconomic factors are contributing to
the volatility. For example, some experts predict a recession in the U.S. Others are more optimistic that
the U.S. and global economies can endure and overcome efforts by central banks to throttle inflation by
raising interest rates. Of course, suppliers interpret these predictions differently, but they impact their
product selection and inventory levels.

Since AMMEX started selling gloves 34 years ago, there have been four official recessions. Overall, we
have learned that glove demand does not slow during a general economic downturn because businesses
do not cut back on their glove spending. As a commodity, gloves are a need-based product. Health,
hygiene, and safety do not give way to economic strife.

As a result, now is an excellent opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the market. Connect with
clients you know that use gloves: jan/san, automotive, safety, hospitality, food service & processing.
Ask: What are you using? How are you using it? Is it working for you? Can I quote you on a potentially
better alternative? Offer them glove samples so they can feel the actual product on their hands. Based on
our surveys, letting your customers try before they buy will likely deliver 50% more sales.

And by the way, all the AMMEX marketing support paused during the pandemic is back in full force.
We are eager to provide distributors with images, flyers, samples, and myriad other tools to help you
serve your clients. Our online portal, which began two years ago as a basic site for ordering gloves, has
transformed into a sophisticated sales resource that can help you manage your disposable glove business.

KEEP YOUR CLIENTS CLOSE AND YOUR PROSPECTS CLOSER

There is a lot of activity in the glove market right now, so it’s a great time to build relationships. Anybody
who is buying and/or selling gloves is getting sales calls. The focus is on differentiating the best-performing
glove suppliers, who utilize service, speed, flexibility, reliability, quality, dependability, and compliance.

Let’s be clear: Gloves are highly commoditized. There are lots of suppliers that sell them. Will your
supplier still be able to deliver the product to you and your customers at scale? Suppose you are in
disposable glove distribution and looking to support your clients effectively and efficiently. In that case,
you will likely find yourself trying to connect their needs and wants with the right supplier. That is why
relationships matter: you understand your customers, what they need, and why. The other is working with a
supplier like AMMEX to help you deliver on their expectations on reliability and anticipate their needs on
items such as vendor and supply chain compliance as well as 100% in-person factory inspections.

The glove business is nuanced, and as a result, we carry a full lineup of disposable gloves. You can
always share different types of gloves, specifications, and chemical resistance with your customers. 

For example, if clients ask about specs, they are likely actively looking to find a better glove for their
specific application.

In short, we believe that now is a great time to get to know your accounts. If possible, share their feedback
with us by talking regularly with your AMMEX sales rep. We want to work with you to address your
needs by helping you manage theirs.

DISPOSABLE GLOVE MARKET = OPPORTUNITY

The disposable glove market is moving toward a new normal. Current market conditions align well with
the ever-growing number of gloves needed as awareness of workplace safety spreads. For example, an
average nursing home uses roughly 10 times more gloves than before the pandemic. It is challenging to
predict all the dynamics, but market conditions are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels. We won’t
linearly get to the new normal; we will likely see ups and downs because the marketplace is inefficient
and risky.

This is where AMMEX provides value: We help our customers buy the right glove for the job and
effectively reduce market risks with expert services and tools.

Will labor shortages in glove manufacturing countries lead to increased costs? What will happen with oil
prices, currently on the decline but infamously fickle? How will inflation (and a possible recession) play
out in the disposable glove industry? Those factors may not be a big deal to an individual client, but they
comprise risks that could impact your costs and availability.

Does all that matter to you? If you need support in servicing your customers and their growing glove
needs, we can help.

A great deal of cost and risk is involved in navigating the disposable glove market. For over 30 years,
AMMEX has effectively supported its clients to help source gloves.

AMMEX has the right people to help you set a course for what comes next. Reach out to your rep
and share your questions and concerns. As always, we look forward to working with you.

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