This content is relevant for:Coronavirus / Medical Technologies / Healthcare
Germany Trade & Invest has produced a short market study of protective mask production in Germany. The Covid-19 pandemic has created annual demand for 2.5 billion protective masks within the German healthcare sector. To increase supply for the general population, the federal government has set up a funding program to incentivize mask production in order to reach 7 billion units by summer 2021.
According to the market analysis compiled by Germany Trade & Invest’s Chemicals & Healthcare team, short-term demand for protective masks in Germany could be as high as 8 to 12 billion per year subject to infection rate development, future availability of medications and vaccines and legal obligations to wear professional protective equipment as consequence. This breaks down for example to an annual minimum demand of 2 billion protective masks for general private use; minimum demand of 2.5 billion protective masks in the workplace; and minimum demand of 5 billion protective masks in the public transport sector.
An increase in local production of meltblown fleece by 4,000 tons annually is also envisioned as part of the plan to combat the coronavirus. The strategy followed here is threefold; combining increased local production with diversification of international procurement as well as building up a limited national stockpile. Making the products available within the entire EU is an additional imperative, with domestic self-sufficiency considerations giving way to mutual support within the community in order to combat the global pandemic.
German manufacturers are leading suppliers of production equipment for meltblown nonwoven- and protective masks, with the country enjoying a supply chain surplus of polypropylene necessary for mask production. Fleece capacity for 10 billion masks is forecast from summer/fall 2020, with capacity for 2.5 billion surgical masks units for healthcare system demand also expected for the same period.
Demand has led 40 percent of member companies in Germany’s textile and fashion industry association to diversify into the protective mask sector, with a focus on textile barrier “community masks.” Non-traditional manufacturers of protective masks are already recording sustainable returns – even in the case of small production lines. A temporary exemption is also allowing surgical masks and PPE to be brought to market without CE certification after successful fast-track testing.
There are significant export and partnering opportunities available to international companies seeking to enter the protective mask market. Germany is Europe’s leading medtech and PPE export nation – over 50 percent of exports go to other EU member countries. Established and novel producers of protective masks can also enter into partnership with a diverse range of equipment manufacturers, intermediate product suppliers, R&D establishments and technology clusters as well as local authority initiatives. Manufacturers investing in mask production lines located in Germany can benefit from attractive financial incentives and cash grants including 30 percent cash grant for short-term availability of CE-compliant surgical masks and FFP2/FFP3 masks up to a maximum of EUR 10 million per applicant.