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Demand raises price of FFP2 masks

There is a race of the Portuguese to the masks of type FFP2, the so-called “duck bill”. Demand, in the last half of January, for this type of product increased by 1300%, compared to the previous fortnight and the average price increased by more than 40%. Data from KuantoKusta, the largest national product comparator, which believes that it was the recent news about the mandatory use of surgical and FFP2 masks in the public space, in countries like Germany and Austria, which led to this situation. The fact that several government officials, such as António Costa and Marta Temido, have been seen, in recent weeks, with FFP2 masks instead of the community textiles they used, worries the industry: “Of course I am concerned, it is a bad warning to navigation” Braz Costa, director general of Citeve.

According to KuantoKusta, there has been an increase in demand for all types of protective materials, but the platform guarantees that “the preference is clear” of the Portuguese for masks of type FFP2. They correspond to 87% of the surveys, with the remaining almost 13% related to the search for surgical masks. And with this, a pack of 50 units of FFP2 masks, which cost an average of 28 euros on January 19, explains Sara Sá, was, this week, costing around 40 euros, an increase of 42%.

In addition to being a price comparator, the KuantoKusta is also a marketplace where items can be purchased. With the surge in demand, the company increased the number of stores that sell this type of mask. “Although some stores have suffered stock we are managing to respond “, guarantees Sara Sá.” However, we have the indication that the market had difficulties in guaranteeing an offer in line with the demand “, he adds.

KuantoKusta says that “this race to the masks” is very similar to the demand felt in March, right after the confirmation of the first cases of covid-19 in Portugal. “The big difference is that the market was not at all prepared which led to a widespread drop in stock and high price speculation: a pack of 50 surgical masks came to cost six times more than its usual price”, explains Sara Sá, stressing that, at the time, surgical-type masks were more in demand (90% of searches). Which is not surprising, given that there were no others. The Infarmed standard that defined the criteria and requirements to be met (in terms of design, performance and usability) for fabric masks, the so-called community masks, dates from April 14. And the first masks of this type, reusable, were certified on April 22, hitting the market a few days later.

Textile masks

At this moment, the demand for community masks grew by around 800%, in the second half of January, compared to the previous fortnight, indicates the KuantoKusta, but, in the global universe of searches for masks, those of fabric “represent less than 1%” demand. Level 2, which have a filtration rate greater than 90% and, therefore, equated with surgical masks and FFP2, are “undoubtedly the most sought after”, with 87% of searches for reusable products, also says Sara Sá.

Citeve, one of three laboratories with a covid-19 seal attesting to the certifications of community masks, and undoubtedly the one that most products certified – more than 3000 -, did not notice any increase in certification requests in the last weeks, but registered a “greater dynamic” of companies interested in developing level 2 masks. “We have many requests for clarification from companies that have level 3 masks (with filtration capacity above 70%) certified and who want help to raise the level. level and develop level 2 products “, says Braz Costa. It should be remembered that the Portuguese Textile and Clothing Association has already estimated that a possible ban on community masks, given the new variants of SARS-CoV-2, calls into question 15 to 20 thousand jobs in the industry.

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