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.