As Our Economy Reopens, Glove Shortages and Pricing will Continue to Increase

Over the past few months we’ve all had to adjust to a “new normal” in the wake of COVID-19. Restaurants, food service industries, and medical professionals are being hit particularly hard as they will continue to need personal protective equipment, like disposable gloves.
The problem is, prices for these necessary items are increasing, and shortages are becoming quite widespread. It’s a classic supply and demand scenario, shortages keep popping up, causing prices to increase rapidly.
The reason we’ve reached this level of shortage is because the countries where the majority of the world’s disposable gloves are manufactured, like Malaysia and China, were forced to shut down production due to COVID-19 quarantines and are only just now beginning to slowly ramp up their production, which means it could take a while before the supply catches up with demand.
The glove production industry isn’t designed to be easily scaled up, which means it will likely take some time before material suppliers and manufacturers can find ways to catch up with the sudden influx of demand that has been caused by this global pandemic.
Even as countries like China, Malaysia, and Thailand begin re-opening glove production, many governments are minimizing exports on gloves, and to ensure that domestic needs are fulfilled first.
One piece of advice that could prove helpful in these times of shortages, is to be flexible. Nitrile, latex, and vinyl gloves are all adequate disposable glove options, so you may need to be willing to use a glove material you typically wouldn’t depending on availability.
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