Category: PPE & Masks

3M mask cost rises further 66%.

The forecasted mask price rise has exceeded expectations. The Aeotec Health team today notes that prices for 3M N95 masks suitable for surgical use have risen a total of 66% throughout the course of this past week.

Facial mask pricing have now risen near on 600% since November.

Coronavirus mask prices expected to rise further.

Despite already having risen 500% since November, the Aeotec Health team is forecasting a further price rise for protective face masks this week.

At the source, we’re noting that prices for the raw material used to make the middle-layer on most masks increased today. Giving some days’ buffer for new pricing to trickle down to manufacturers, we’re advising partners that to anticipate a price rise of US$0.10 to US$0.21 per mask unit by the week’s end.

KN95 masks now able to be imported into USA.

KN95 masks are the Chinese equivalent of what you’re more likely to know as N95 face masks.

Facing a deepening supply crisis for PPE inclusive of face masks, the US’ FDA has clarified its stance on the import of KN95 certified masks;

“The FDA is not blocking KN95 mask importations,” said Anand Shah, the agency’s deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs in an interview.

But he added that even though the agency will allow importers to bring the equipment into the country, they would be doing so at their own risk. Unlike normally certified devices, or those authorized on an emergency basis, KN95 masks would have none of the legal protections or other support provided by the federal government.

Aeotec Health has observed that the demand for N95 masks has seen prices rise some 500% since November. Without heavy demand, their KN95 equivalent have remained in abundant supply and significantly cheaper within China.

How many masks will be needed in the USA during the COVID-19 outbreak?

There’s an interesting data point in a 3M press release today;

…this week, we secured approval from China to export to the U.S. 10 million N95 respirators manufactured by 3M in China.

10 million feels a big number. But it’s sadly a blip. Current government estimates indicate that the USA will require some 3.5 billion face masks though the course of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tracking price increases for masks.

After yesterday’s missive on this week’s PPE price increases, the Aeotec Health team has looked at price increases specifically impacting face masks. They’re a technology that are in short supply in the face of unprecedented demand. That’s why various advisories have been issued in the US telling people to cover their face yet there have been no instructions to wear a face masks; there simply aren’t enough face masks for medical professionals, let alone for everybody.

Pricing is also an issue (but less so for governments’ deeper pockets). Pricing for face masks has risen some 500% at the source since November 2019. China’s definition of mask filter layers as effectively a national resource has been a key exacerbation, so too has been this week’s introduction of stricter export controls. While the latter has been a boon unit pricing for COVID-19 focussed masks, it is also a quality win with fake and mislabelled masks now less likely to be exported outside China.

PPE pricing increases.

In brief; along with prices rising for certified COVID-19 tests, Aeotec Health’s team have noted that pricing for PPE equipment, inclusive of masks, have also rise some 50% to 75% throughout the week. We anticipate that pricing this week’s average pricing will have risen some 100% come Monday.

Limitations in place on export of PPE from China.

Along with legal changes limiting the export of COVID-19 medical tests, China’s Ministry of Commerce has increased regulations on the export of medical masks, medical protective clothing, ventilators, and thermometers.

These changes continue to focus on ensuring that the manufacture and export of such products is conducted only by suitably licensed businesses.

Most in-demand China exports March 2020.

The impact of COVID-19 / coronavirus upon the global supply chain continues to be felt both in availability of supply and on-going demand.

Current-month export data received by Aeotec from 3rd parties has shown that the largest growing segment of exports from China corresponds with products needed to fight the global pandemic, particularly personal protective equipment. The top 10 includes;

  • latex gloves
  • hand sanitzer
  • face masks
  • eyewear goggles
  • full-body suits
  • shoe coverings
  • COVID-19 test kits
  • no-touch temperature guns

The Aeotec Health team continues to qualify and validate potential manufacturers and suppliers of the above products.