The global PPE market rebounded in 2022 following historic demand created by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020-21. However, gloves, masks, gowns, and visors are still in unprecedented demand due to the rise of other viruses.
Hospitals and care homes are on alert as worrisome diseases like monkeypox, measles, tuberculosis, and whooping cough are making comebacks. This is keeping supply chains tight and the cost of PPE procurement high.
The demand for PPE is at historical levels, although it has cooled down since the turn of the year due to the coronavirus crisis settling down.
Nitrile and latex gloves and face masks are the most in-demand PPE items, followed by aprons, gowns, and face shields.
The supply of PPE is significantly more relaxed than it was in 2021. Still, resurgences of the coronavirus in Europe, and other viruses like the flu and monkeypox, mean procurement is not as slick or as cheap as it could be.
One of the problems with the current PPE market is hoarding, where PPE is bought in bulk and stored for a rainy day.
Items with no expiry date, like gowns, and items with a long shelf life, like nitrile gloves, are popular products to hoard. It is not uncommon for large PPE batches to go out of date before use, something we saw during the COVID pandemic.
PPE demand forecasts
In 2020, the UK Government predicted in its final PPE demand forecast that after 2021, global PPE demand would return close to its pre-crisis levels with a 6-9% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) between 2022 and 2025.
According to the report, PPE demand will double by 2025 vs 2019, reaching 235 billion units vs 105 billion units in 2019.
The report also reveals the coronavirus crisis shifted the product demand mix, with masks accounting for ~40% of global demand in 2021 vs ~5% in 2019).
These figures are on the same lines as private firm Straits Research’s prediction in September 2022, saying that demand would grow at a CAGR of 7.2%, with North America leading the market for procurement.
Another private report published in October 2022 by Grand View Research Inc. predicts the PPE market will grow at a CAGR of 6.7% to 2030.
Keeping up with the demand
The solution to keeping up with PPE demand is not to hoard PPE – this significantly impacts the supply chain and places pressure on usage when items have expiry dates.
The best way to keep up with demand is to partner with a reliable PPE supplier like Sterimax. Sterimax can feed your organisation PPE as required with automatic ordering and stock updates, so you are kept in the loop.
It’s also critical to explore substitute PPE to fill gaps when shortages arise and to keep up to date with demand in your industry.
The bottom line – PPE demand has cooled in 2022 but threatens to boil over due to a surge in other diseases like monkeypox. We recommend bolstering your supply chain to beat shortages in the future.