Glove sales soar after coronavirus outbreak

Top Glove Corporation reports a spike in orders, particularly for latex and nitrile examination gloves. (Rawpixel pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The world’s largest glovemaker, Top Glove Corporation, could beat its 2020 sales growth target of 10-15% due to the spread of a new coronavirus in China, the Malaysian firm’s executive chairman said on Wednesday.

“Over the past few days, the total sales orders received are equivalent to more than double our usual sales to China,” Lim Wee Chai told Reuters via email.

“We are expecting more sales orders to come in depending on the severity of the outbreak and how long it lasts,” he said.

The company has seen a spike in orders from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, particularly for latex and nitrile examination gloves, Lim said.

More than half of its 33 factories across the region, including one in China, will be ramping up capacity, he said.

It is currently running at 85% of its output capacity but is prepared to operate at up to full capacity if the need arises, he added.

On Wednesday, confirmed cases of the new coronavirus reached 5,974 in China and deaths from the flu-like virus rose to 132.