August 2023 Market Pulse

Aug 17, 2023 | UST Newsletters

This Month’s Issue

Trending: US buyers continue to “pump the brakes” on imports from China

Domestic Activity: New domestic glove MFR enters market – but “Buy American” outlook uncertain

International Front: Capacity for nitrile gloves remains large – but financial conditions remain shaky

Legislation: White House appoints Pandemic leader – congress touts “Buy American” action

Market Dynamics and Trends

U.S. Companies are Buying Less from China as Relations Remain Tense (Full Article)

Chinese imports are down 24 percent through May, and Mexico is now the United States’ top trading partner. Some Chinese companies have moved out of China to dodge U.S. tariffs. As a result, some products once made by Chinese companies at factories in China now arrive in the United States from Chinese Factories in Mexico or Vietnam.

Domestic Manufacturing and Supply Chain Resiliency

Trendco, Producer of Medical Gloves in Louisiana, to Build $43M Facility (Full Article)

  • The medical equipment manufacturing company Trendco plans to invest $43 million in a plant in Alabama to produce nitrile medical gloves.
  • Trendco has committed to creating 292 new jobs over the next five years at the facility in Tuskegee in the new Regional East Alabama Logistics Park off Interstate 85 in Mason County.
  • This company already produces medical-grade examination gloves in Louisiana through partnerships and plans to install as many as 10 glove production lines at the Tuskegee location.
  • The production of this plant hopes to “put down roots” for other domestic manufacturing companies in the near future.

 HIDA Announces MedSupplyChain Conference (Full Article)

  • On June 27th, 2023 the Health Industry Distributors Association announced the MedSupplyChain Conference focused on medical products and device industry.
  • This conference will also bring together the entire end-to-end medical supply chain involving supply manufacturers, distributors, and public partners.
  • With this event comes the intention to address issues including demand management, logistics, shipping and resilience within supply chain.

Heroux Wants Bristol County Sheriff’s Office to Buy American (Full Article)

  • The Bristol County sheriff’s office plans to prioritize purchasing goods made in Massachusetts and America, with foreign goods taking a back seat.
  • Heroux, former mayor of Attleboro, is enforcing his policy that states when purchasing goods there must be an attempt to purchase the goods from a Bristol County company.
  • The office may also purchase goods from the next level if the item at the most local level is unreasonably expensive.
  • The first implementation of the new policy was during the recent Employee Appreciation Week at the sheriff’s office.

Showa’s XC810 Glove Made for Industrial Use (Full Article)

  • Showa on August 4th 2023 introduced their new versatile glove, the XC810. A safety glove used for industrial use.
  • This glove is free from latex, has been HPPE reinforced, and has embossed grip durability and flexibility.
  • XC810 sets a new standard for industrial safety gear and boasts innovative changes within the industry.

International Updates

Asian Market’s Capacity for Nitrile Medical Gloves on the Rise (Full Article)

  • The Asia-Pacific nitrile medical glove market is witnessing significant growth projected to reach a value of $3.17 billion by 2028, with a CAGR of 10.5%.
  • This surge in demand for nitrile medical gloves comes from the introduction of eco-friendly nitrile medical gloves and innovative trends within the industry.
  • Asian companies are actively forming partnerships with entities in other regions, establishing subsidiaries, and expanding their market presence globally.
  • The demand for examination gloves in Asia is increasing and with it new healthcare settings and safety standards in countries for healthcare professionals.

 Investors Could be Concerned with Hartalega Holdings Berhad (Full Article)

  • Hartalega Holding’s Berhad’s return on capital has fallen to 2.8% causing concern with investors.
  • Investors are beginning to recognize the changes within Hartalega as the company’s stock has fallen close to 57% in the last five years.
  • Unless there is a more positive trajectory in the current metrics, most investors will look elsewhere for more optimistic results.

Hartalega Suffers RM52mil Net Loss as Sales Slump in Q1 (Full Article)

  • Hartalega Revenue tumbles 47.97% to RM440 million from RM845.7 million on lower sales volume, average selling prices.
  • These results are speculated due to aggressive expansion by regional players coupled with excessive inventory build-up during the pandemic.
  • Hartalega has since decommissioned its Bestari Jaya plant which comprised of four production plants scheduled to finish completion by the first quarter of 2024.
  • The group expects to see improvement in cost efficiencies and operations with these changes set in place.


White House Launches New Pandemic Office to be Led by Retired General (Full Article)

  • On July 21st, the White House launched an office to prepare for and respond to potential pandemics.
  • The new Office of Pandemic Preparedness and Response Policy will also take over the duties of President Joe Biden’s current COVID-19 response teams.
  • The office will be charged with “leading, coordinating, and implementing actions related to preparedness to significant public health-related disruptions in the United States.”
  • These changes in the office are in expectation to cut down the White House’s COVID response team after the U.S. government in May ended its COVID Public Health Emergency.

Senate Extends “Buy American” Laws to Navy Ships (Full Article)

  • On August 5th, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation mandating all U.S. Navy ships’ components be manufactured 100 percent in the U.S. by 2023.
  • Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin introduced the amendment, which passed and was added to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
  • By strengthening America’s requirements for the shipbuilding industry, America can ensure that taxpayer dollars are supporting American jobs and maintain a defensive industrial base for national security.

Buy America Provisions in Infrastructure Law to Deliver 200 New Jobs (Full Article)

  • On August 3rd, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined Vice President Kamala Harris in Kenosha County to celebrate Nokia bringing up 200 manufacturing jobs to Wisconsin.
  • Senator Baldwin championed strong Buy America provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, requiring that key manufactured products be manufactured in the United States supporting American jobs and businesses.
  • Buy America provisions are driving the onshoring of new manufacturing an example being most electronics not currently manufactured in the U.S.
  • These legislative changes hope to continue the effort to invest in American Manufacturing and American jobs.