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Price spike for Thai latex, condoms and medical gloves in demand

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Unsplash: Clay Banks

It’s clear the coronavirus pandemic has lead to a surge in demand for plastic gloves, but demand has also increased for condoms (locked up for 2 months, blah, blah…). The high demand has increased the price of latex and business is booming for companies in Thailand. Malaysia had a significant drop in natural rubber production and The Thai Rubber Latex Corporation says the country is now importing latex concentrate from Thailand, adding that the global market at the moment is favourable to Thai concentrate.

Some even worried about a potential global condom shortage after a major manufacturer in Malaysia stopped production due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Thai Nippon Rubber Company, who makes the brands ‘Playboy’ and ‘One Touch’ condoms stepped up and increased production by 27%.

Chairman of the Rubber Authority of Thailand says prices have increased by more than 10% since this time last year with 44.52 baht per kilogram. He says rubber manufacturers in Europe and the US are interested in establishing factories in Thailand, predicting a sustained demand for medical gloves for the next 3 to 5 years.

“The Covid-19 crisis has spurred demand for rubber gloves for medical purposes as well as condoms … If the trend continues, it will probably be the first time the price of latex has soared beyond sheet rubber.”

While rubber authorities say the demand is increasing, rubber exports have decreased since last year as many countries shut down during the pandemic. China, the main importer for Thai rubber, is the only country that increased the amount of rubber products this year. The country makes up more than 63% of Thailand’s rubber exports and their numbers have increased by 10% in the past year.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Thaitex Group| Nation Thailand

 

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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