Kuala Lumpur: A leading rubber industry agency has predicted Malaysia will emerge as the world’s top condom producer this year, dethroning Thailand as the market leader.
The Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council said Malaysia has captured at least one-third of the world’s production, surpassing the one billion mark.
“We can be the world’s No. 1 this year due to flood woes in Thailand. Our last year’s production figures would have easily crossed a billion condoms,” said Low Yoke Kiew, the council’s marketing and development director.
In 2010, Malaysia, the world``s fourth largest natural rubber producer, shipped out latex-made sheath contraceptives worth nearly RM300mil, almost tripling the export value in 2005, The Star reports.
Malaysia, backed by the strong latex products industry, largely small and medium size, joins the billion-piece condom makers`` club, coincidentally dominated by Asian giants.
Top Asian manufacturers such as Thailand, China, India, Japan and Malaysia continue to flood global markets with over 10 billion condoms.
“Malaysian condoms are in good demand and competitive. We’re now supplying a lot to UN programmes. We expect very good growth for all our latex products this year, including condoms,” Low added.
Condom makers rely on natural rubber, as over 90 percent of the sheath contraceptives are made using latex, while lamb intestines is another material used in the industry.