Remember when latex exam gloves were cheaper than nitrile exam gloves? Not so anymore. Fluctuating currencies and the rising cost of the raw materials used in the manufacturing of medical exam gloves has dramatically affected the cost of latex medical gloves Security+ exam .
The price of natural rubber latex has been volatile, to say the least. The cost of latex has gone up tremendously over the past year. Demand for tires in China, the world’s biggest consumer of rubber, and the high cost of oil, has resulted in manufacturing cost increases this year that greatly affect manufacturers.
While disposable glove manufacturers work hard to absorb these increases, the raw material costs account for about two-thirds of the cost of the end product. Some of this cost increase is passed on to glove importers. Glove importers do what they can to mitigate the increased cost, but ultimately they must share some of the burden with their customers in the form of higher prices for gloves on their shelves.
Due to increased awareness of latex sensitization, and an increasing number of healthcare professionals wanting to avoid the risk of latex allergy, the trend in medical and healthcare facilities has been to transition from latex to nitrile exam gloves. The ever narrowing price gap between latex gloves and nitrile gloves has made this transition easier for many. Glove manufacturers have been working hard to accommodate the demand for nitrile gloves, converting many of their latex manufacturing lines to nitrile, and building new factories.
But nitrile exam gloves haven’t escaped cost increases either. Nitrile gloves are petroleum based, and when the cost of oil goes up, so does nitrile glove raw material costs. Add to this the higher cost of transportation and strengthening currencies in Malaysia, and you can expect the cost of nitrile exam gloves to rise.