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2023 & 2024 in Infection Control and PPE BMC Protect BMC Protect

2023 & 2024 in Infection Control and PPE BMC Protect BMC Protect

As we look forward to another year with many new opportunities in infection control and PPE, it’s good to reflect on the previous year and try to assess market trends.  Here is a review of the disposable glove and PPE market for 2023 and a preview of 2024.

Many trends continued in 2023, including more uses of nitrile gloves and a shift away from natural latex rubber gloves to nitrile. An exception to this shift is with certain thicker, natural latex rubber gloves that provide excellent protection without the excessive hand fatigue found when wearing thick nitrile gloves.

Black nitrile glove usage continued to grow beyond just tattoo artists and now includes dominance in the auto/truck repair, hair styling, agriculture, law enforcement, and select janitorial and foodservice uses. Fentanyl-resistant nitrile gloves continued to grow as opioid abuse continues to be a significant issue in the United States. Retailers added disposable gloves after the COVD19 pandemic and are increasing the number of lower unit count products (e.g. 50 gloves/box) to satisfy low-volume home use. All indications are that these trends in gloves will continue in 2024.

Disposable glove manufacturing remains almost exclusively in Asia. Malaysia, China, and Thailand product over 95% of the world’s disposable gloves, including nitrile, natural latex, and vinyl gloves. Production of disposable gloves is still rare in the United States and factories started during the pandemic have yet to start production.

Raw materials and manufacturing costs bottomed out in mid-2023 for nitrile, vinyl, and natural latex gloves. Raw materials for nitrile (NBR), vinyl (polyvinyl chloride), and natural latex (centrifuged latex) rose 15-25% in the last half of 2023. This led to price increases for nitrile, vinyl, and natural latex glove in Q4 of 2023. Pricing for 2024 is expected to be 10-25% higher than 2023 and plateau at 20-25% higher than 2023. Costs for production of earloop masks, gowns, shoe covers, and other medical PPE remains at pre-COVID19 levels up to 15% higher. N95 respirators are 0-15% higher than pre-pandemic pricing, depending on the model number.

Thank you to all of our customers for your business.

We wish you a safe and prosperous 2024.

David Dorris, PhD