The vinyl glove rollercoaster ride continues.
After retreating from record high prices during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, vinyl glove prices could jump back up in the first quarter of 2022.
Prices could increase $5 to $10 per case of 1,000 gloves, perhaps even more. While this is nowhere near the increases seen in 2020, they are still significant nonetheless.
Recently, some importers have been making deals to move excess vinyl gloves they overbought, which would make any price increases look even more drastic.
Why is this happening?
Most of the world’s vinyl gloves are produced in China. Like so many other goods manufactured there, several factors are driving up costs, including increases in raw materials, higher labor costs, large increases in energy costs, and capacity cutbacks due to electricity restrictions.
This is on top of the exorbitant costs of shipping goods from Asia to the United States, which is adding several dollars in incremental costs to a case of gloves.
On the flip side, if container shipping rates drop significantly, vinyl glove price increases could be less severe.
What can you do about vinyl glove price volatility?
By planning ahead there may be some things you can do to offset higher vinyl glove costs. Here are a couple of moves you can consider:
- If you can find a deal on excess vinyl gloves, this may be the time to buy in. However, we hear that such deals are getting harder to come by. Importers could also end up limiting customer order quantities if buy-ins increase ahead of price increases.
- Another option is to look at alternative products such as hybrid polyethylene gloves, such as Elara’s Digifit brand. While prices for hybrid glove could also increase for the same reasons mentioned above, hybrid glove prices should still remain lower than vinyl gloves.
For former nitrile users, this may be the time to switch back.
For end users that switched from nitrile gloves to vinyl during the pandemic, this may an opportunity to move back to nitrile gloves.
Nitrile glove prices are declining. If vinyl gets more expensive, the price gap between nitrile and vinyl will narrow. Given that nitrile can outlast vinyl 3 times over, nitrile becomes a cost effective option, with better performance characteristics to boot.
As we’ve experienced for nearly two years, the disposable market is very fluid and things can change on a dime. We will continue to keep you updated as conditions warrant.
If you have any questions or would like product information, please drop us a line at HeyThere@ElaraBrands.com.