It might have seemed for a while that the future was golden for Malaysian latex company Top Glove. The company produces a range of products including disposable gloves, condoms, face masks and dental dams as well as other latex products and was founded in 1991. Already doing well from steady business, the company was one of the few who seemed to be making bank from the worldwide coronavirus epidemic that has seen demand for products such as latex gloves and face masks increase exponentially this year.
The world’s largest rubber glove maker has unfortunately seen a dramatic 7.5% decrease in its market share price since an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in over 2,000 individuals – making up nearly half of its workforce – has forced the closure of 28 of its factories in Klang, Selangor.
The news, whilst disappointing for the company and worrying for its workers, does little to affect the impressive overall growth this year. Top Glove has grown more than fourfold over 2020, and being closed for two weeks is estimated to reduce Top Glove’s revenue around 2% according to AmInvestment Bank analyst Thong Pak Leng.
Top Glove is based in Malaysia, a country that is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of rubber gloves, producing just under two-thirds of all rubber gloves made globally according to the non-profit Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA). With a continuing growth in demand for latex gloves throughout the year as the coronavirus has spread around the world and the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has surged, Top Glove and its associates in Malaysia will be just some of the companies that have benefitted from the global pandemic.
Growing concerns from environmentalists regarding the subsequent increase in disposable medical waste demonstrate the need for alternative solutions to combat the pandemic in a sustainable manner. One tip has been to cut the strings of your face masks before disposing of them (like beer can plastic rings) in order to prevent wildlife becoming trapped later.