Virus outbreak delays production at world's top glove maker

Elias Hubbard
November 25, 2020

The world's largest maker of latex gloves will shut more than half of its factories after nearly 2,500 employees tested positive for coronavirus.

"We expect delays in some deliveries by about two to four weeks, as well as a longer lead time for orders, and estimate a possible 3% impact on projected annual sales for financial year 2021", Top Glove said in a statement.

"To minimise the impact on our customers, we are allocating sales orders to unaffected factories and rescheduling deliveries where possible", the company wrote.

In a stock exchange filing yesterday, Top Glove said it had temporarily stopped production at 16 facilities since last Wednesday, with the balance of 12 facilities operating at much reduced capacities.

The company did not give a breakdown of how many factory sites were affected by the closure of the 28 factory buildings.

The government said 28 factory buildings will be shut in phases but did not provide a timetable. Its main markets are Europe and North America. Hartalega Holdings and Supermax Corp are Malaysia's other two top glovemakers.

Teratai cluster which is linked to glove manufacturing company, Top Glove and the workers' dormitories has recorded over 1,000 positive Covid-19 cases so far.

The ministry said on Tuesday total infections in the Klang cluster reached 4,036 out of 5,777 people screened.

Top Glove operates 41 factories in Malaysia with many of its workers coming from Nepal and living in crowded dormitory complexes. Checkpoints were staffed by police and soldiers.

Malaysia's Top Glove Corp said in a statement deliveries of rubber gloves could be delayed up to a month. But she said tight supply could push prices up.

Top Glove produces about 90 billion rubber gloves a year - about one quarter of the world's supply - and exports to 195 countries.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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