NBR latex is a synthetic latex which has a milky color and a liquid form and is used for dipping rubber for medical and laboratory gloves, etc. thanks to its excellent tensile strength, oil resistance, etc.
When working with hands, disposable gloves are often used for protection and hygiene purposes. In hospitals, especially during medical practices such as examinations and surgeries, disposable gloves are used to prevent infection for patients and medical staff. When it comes to disposable medical gloves, the medical staff’s senses from their fingertips is critical. It should be thin but shouldn’t be prone to tearing. They also need to have a good fit while allowing the smooth movement of hands so that medical staff can perform their work delicately. To meet these requirements, NBR latex is used to make disposable gloves for medical use. With excellent fit and durability, NBR latex disposable gloves increasingly being used beyond the medical field, reaching over to industrial operations and cooking applications.
Demand shot up during the pandemic. In 2020, global demand of NB latex increased to 1543.8 K MT from 1266.6 K MT in 2019, stimulated by the COVID-19.
NB latex demand has close relationship with nitrile gloves manufacturing distribution as more than 80% sales went into the nitrile gloves industry. There is no doubt that Southeast Asia becomes the largest consumer of NB latex globally. In 2020, about 77% NB latex were transported to the region. Besides the region, China also attracts more attention.
The NB latex industry is dominated by several players, including Kumho Petrochemical, Synthomer, Nantex, LG Chem. Kumho Petrochemical is the largest producer of NB latex presently with more than 35% sales share. Promoted by the surged demand, many companies are actively expanding their NB latex business or planning to enter into the industry. Kumho Petrochemical and LG Chem are planning to add their NB latex capacity to 1 million tons respectively in the next few years. Companied in China also enlarge their investments on the market.
Due to the tight supply in 2020, price of NB latex surged. But the price is estimated to decrease gradually with more capacity being released in the coming years.
In 2020, global NB latex market was valued at 2629 million USD and is estimated to reach to 3778 million USD in 2027, with the CAGR of 4.75 during the period of 2021 to 2027. Malaysia, China, and Thailand will continue to influence global NB latex industry deeply.
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