Malaysia’s rubber products exports surged to a record MYR 40.96 billion in 2020 due to the spike in exports of latex goods--mainly medical devices such as gloves and catheters. In a statement, Malaysian Rubber Council (MRC) chief executive officer Brandon Chan said that last year’s exports surged by 75.6 % from 2019.
“The strong performance was contributed by the spike in exports of latex goods which posted a year-on-year growth of 95.3 % last year, ” he said. The latex goods sector, which comprises mainly medical devices such as gloves and catheters, made up 90 % of the total rubber products exports in 2020. It recorded a jump of 81 % in 2019.
“The increase is driven by the high demand from the medical and health sectors worldwide, in the effort to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Rubber gloves alone made up 86 % of the country’s rubber products exports. Exports revenue from the rubber gloves industry reached MYR 35.3 billion, an increase of 103%. Globally, Malaysia has been supplying more than 60 % of the world demand for rubber gloves and the MRC estimates the share to expand to 68 % in 2020, ” he said.
Chan said the US was the largest market for Malaysian rubber products and exports increased by 79 % from MYR 7.25 billion in 2019 to MYR 12.96 billion last year. He said other key markets which increased their imports from Malaysia for the rubber products were the EU (27 member states) by 101 %, Japan (64 %), the United Kingdom (157 %) and China (82.4 %). Given the strong performance, the overall rubber products industry contributed almost 5 % to national exports in 2020.
However, he said, it was a challenging year for the dry rubber sector (non-latex products) as exports fell by 9.3 % to MYR 3.98 billion from MYR 4.39 billion in 2019. “Lower demand from various economic sectors such as automotive, industrial manufacturing, construction and mining has contributed to the decrease in the dry rubber exports. Main exports within the sector are tyres, hoses, footwear as well as plates and sheets, and these four products registered a decline of 6.9 %, 28 %, 7.3 % and 8.9 %, respectively,” he said.
Source: Daily “The Star”, Kuala Lumpur; 4 Mar 2021
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)