Are We Facing A Global Shortage Of Condoms?

Goh Miah Kiat Kondome

In two months there could be a noticeable shortage of condoms on a global scale.  In contrast to toilet paper, however, this is due less to hoarders than to actual production slumps, as the global supply chains have come grinding to a halt due to corona.

According to a report in the business magazine Bloomberg, Karex, the world’s largest manufacturer of condoms, warns that there could soon be a shortage of condoms worldwide. The Malaysian-based company, which is responsible for a good 20% of the world’s total condom production, reports that the supply has already fallen by 50% and that its inventories will only last for two months.

Manufacturer for Durex and others hit by factory closings

The manufacturer produces for example for VENUS exhibitor Durex and also launches its own condom brands in some countries. In total, Karex condoms are sold in 140 countries around the world. According to the company, its factories normally produce 5 billion condoms per year.

Karex had had to close its factories due to measures against the spread of the coronavirus and was only able to resume production last Friday – but still only at half force. The factories in China and India are the most affected by lockdown measures. Currently, the company can only rely on half of its employees.

Growing Demand due to curfews

While production losses and reduced supplies are already weighing on the market, demand is growing massively at the same time. In some countries, double-digit growth rates are putting manufacturers under additional pressure.

Goh Miah Kiat, the company’s CEO, suspects that the curfews and stay-at-home orders are not only leading to hoarding purchases but that people also have more time for sex. At the same time, however, fears about the future mean that fewer people want to have children and are using contraception more often.

Rising costs will lead to price hikes for condoms

In an interview, the condom boss said: »I would definitely say this is an unprecedented stage, we have never seen such a disruption.« With this warning, Karex apparently wants to caution retailers and consumers for even more bad news. He continues, »We are still paying all our workers full salaries but workers only come in half the time so generally there will be a cost increase.« So in addition to scarcity, rising costs will lead to higher prices.

You can find more information about Karex here. You can access the website of the Durex brand, which belongs to the Reckitt Benckiser Group, by clicking on this link.


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