Owing to the rapid urbanization and industrial development worldwide, the nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) latex market has amassed tremendous remunerations from the healthcare, automobile and electronics manufacturing segments. With worker and staff safety being a critical concern during operations within these segments, protective wear and equipment are included as part of the primary investment by companies. Protective gloves are a key component of the daily tasks for medical professionals or machine workers, specifically in the environment where they get exposed to harsh chemicals, electric sparks or even minuscule dangerous particles. The NBR latex industry provides high quality materials for gloves used in medical and industrial purposes that ensure safety of people handling hazardous or infectious materials, as well as just securing against possible unhygienic spills or skin allergies.
Malaysia nitrile butadiene rubber latex market size, by end-user, 2014 - 2025 (USD Million)
Remarkable advancements in healthcare services due to prevalence of several medical conditions has proliferated the NBR latex market, which was valued at over USD 1.1 billion in 2017 globally. According to reports, the global spending on healthcare had reached 10% of global GDP in 2014, amounting to nearly USD 7.7 billion. The figure offers an understanding of the huge prospects in existence for various sectors associated with healthcare and medical services, including glove manufacturers that contribute majorly to the nitrile butadiene rubber latex industry. The presence of lucrative opportunities gave way to the emergence of numerous industry players in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, which constitutes a massive labor force and lowest labor costs. Transfer of technologies have enabled the production of superior quality NBR products in countries like China, India and Malaysia, with Malaysia reportedly leading the global glove manufacturing sector.
As medical disorders are a big concern in Asia, the NBR latex market has gain immense growth from the domestic healthcare requirements. However, a significant demand for NBR latex gloves arises out of developed regions such as Europe and North America, which have fewer glove manufacturers due to high cost of labor and raw materials. Subsequently, these regions represent great prospects for import of gloves from companies in APAC, further supported by the highly advanced medical services provided within Europe and North America. The growing healthcare sector in these areas will augment the APAC NBR latex market expansion from the export of quality disposable gloves over the coming years.
Listed below are few significant projects highlighting the development of healthcare and medical facilities in developed countries, indicating a prolific future for the nitrile butadiene rubber latex market:
The aforementioned examples demonstrate the extensive potential for continuous growth of the medical segment in developed countries, which would invariably boost the NBR latex market revenues from the huge requirement for examination and surgical gloves imported from Asia.
Innovations in nitrile rubber to strengthen the APAC nitrile butadiene rubber latex Industry:
Over the past couple of years, Malaysia-based chemical company Synthomer has introduced new and innovative nitrile latex products for the glove industry that allows for greater sensitivity and utilizes lesser raw materials in manufacturing. In 2015, it launched the Synthomer 6338 which, the company claims, gives glove manufacturers access to advanced NBR technology for improving process efficiency and producing high-performance, low-weight gloves. Synthomer’s innovative low-energy nitrile product introduced in 2017 offered enhanced tensile strength, durability and resistance to chemicals, besides providing increased manufacturing efficiency.
All in all, the overall nitrile butadiene rubber latex market, propelled further by consistent product developments, has been characterized by the growing demand for medical services across the world and availability of high-quality NBR glove producers. Being highly capital-intensive, the NBR latex market is comprised of few but prominent industry participants like Synthomer, Omnova Solutions, LG Chem, Zeon Chemicals, Nantex and Kumho Petrochemicals.