The ongoing pandemic pertaining to COVID-19 and its variants has escalated the global demand for gloves across a range of industries, creating numerous opportunities for nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) latex market expansion. Typically used for medical purposes, nitrile gloves provide the advantage of a two-way contact barrier during patient evaluation and the disposal of medical waste.
In addition, NBR gloves provide reliable hand protection to healthcare workers in various areas such as surgery, examinations, pharmaceuticals, and dentistry. Numerous regulatory bodies, including the FDA, have, therefore, recommended the use of nitrile gloves for ensuring the adequate protection of workers in healthcare facilities and hospitals.
As per the latest research conducted by Global Market Insights Inc., nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) latex market size is expected to surpass USD 4 billion by 2027. Here are a few major trends that are slated to drive industry growth through the coming years:
Favorable government policies in the Asia Pacific region
The Asia Pacific NBR latex market share is expected to record appreciable gains through 2027 propelled by the rising adoption of favorable regulatory policies in the region. For instance, in October 2020, the Indian government eased the exports policy for NBR/nitrile gloves from ‘prohibited’ to ‘restricted’. While the country had earlier banned their exports, the amended policy is expected to open avenues for business expansion in the region.
Growing NBR usage in the food industry
The food industry is witnessing a soaring demand for NBR gloves as they provide extra protection during food preparation and are safe for the purpose of food handling. Furthermore, the gloves have recorded an escalated usage in a customer-facing role owing to the benefit of ease of changing.
According to sources, the usage of a color-coded system of nitrile gloves can help in preventing the cross-contamination of a food-based business. Impelled by these factors, the food end-user industry is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 9% between 2022 and 2028.
Rising use of NBR in industrial plants
NBR latex is increasingly being adopted across various industries that earlier made use of natural rubber latex. The utilization of nitrile gloves can provide protection from hazardous substances such as pesticides, chemicals, commercial cleaning products, and others, further elevating the suitability of the product for commercial and industrial settings.
Examining the competitive landscape
Major players in the nitrile butadiene rubber industry comprise Zeon Chemicals, Jubilant Bhartia Group, Emerald Performance Materials LLC, Versalis S.p.A., Apcotex Industries Limited, LG Chem, Nantex, Kumho Petrochemical, and others. A number of NBR latex manufacturers are focused on the implementation of capacity expansion and product development strategies for the consolidation of their position in the market.
Some of the instances have been mentioned below:
-In June 2021, Kumho Petrochemical Co., spent USD 226 million for ramping up NB latex output by 240,000 tons for bolstering capacity to near 1 million by 2023. The company intends to add a new line that can produce around 240,000 tons of NB latex each year at its Ulsan manufacturing complex based in southeast Korea.
-In July 2021, LG Chem announced plans for the expansion of its production line for nitrile butadiene latex (NBL) across Asia, covering Malaysia, China, and South Korea.
All in all, rising population, increasing advancement in medical treatments, and escalating product deployment by food companies are expected to drive nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR) latex market expansion through the forthcoming years.