Prices for face masks have plummeted globally, the World Trade Organization (WTO) reported in a report on Covid-19 products.
In particular, face masks accounted for 70% of the trade in personal protection products in terms of value during the first half of 2020, but their share decreased to 59% during the first half of 2021 (-27.8% annually).
In this regard, according to the WTO, the strong increase in commercial values during the start of the pandemic could be attributed mainly to the rebound in prices due to shortages: anecdotal evidence indicates a five-fold increase in prices in the first quarter of 2020.
Increased domestic production and more abundant supply resulted in lower prices and stabilization.
In terms of quantity, the global market is projected to grow at an average annual rate of 22.9% between 2019 and 2023, from 14.6 billion units to more than 33.360 million units in 2023.
Share of all medical products, 2019 S2 to 2021 S1
Among the main manufacturers of face masks are: Cardinal Health, Honeywell International, 3M Company, Medline Industries, Owens & Minor, Cantel Medical Corporation, Ambu A / S, Uvex Group. Alpha ProTech and Makrite.
On the other hand, the demand for fans, which peaked at the beginning of the pandemic, resulted in an almost doubling of the commercial value, with a year-on-year growth of 95.3% in the second half of 2020.
Since then, this situation has stabilized because this medical equipment is durable and reusable, and is generally linked to hospital capacity.
In the first half of 2021, WTO statistics show that the trade value even decreased by 5% compared to the same period in 2020.
Testing remains extensive to track virus incidence, and therefore demand for test kits and diagnostic reagents did not decline.
Since the first half of 2020, there has been double-digit growth in test kit exports and imports and the first half year-on-year growth in 2021 was 54.5 percent.
Following the development and approval of Covid-19 vaccines, the provision of critical elements for vaccine delivery became crucial.
They may not seem like high-value products and represent a negligible share in the medical products sector (less than 1% for each of the rubber gloves, syringes and needles). However, the proportion of gloves more than doubled to 2.6% in the first half of 2021.