China Exports Face Masks, Drugs to Help Control Epidemic

DUAN QIANQIAN | ZHANG YUSHUO

(Yicai Global) March 17 — Demand for anti-epidemic materials is growing as the coronavirus epidemic rings alarm bells. As China brings its own epidemic under gradual control, its counter-epidemic material makers are gearing up to export their face masks, drugs and other products.

The Chinese government took over management on Jan. 28 amid the Covid-19 outbreak of a protective product maker in China’s eastern Hebei province that had started to turn out face masks during the SARS coronavirus epidemic in 2002, a company staffer who requested anonymity told Yicai Global, adding various of its products have won certification from the EU and the US and it can currently export 100,000 face masks per day, is striving to resume exports and has already filled orders from Europe.

Jiangsu province-based petrochemical firm Oriental Energy has sent more than 3,000 tons of Y381H, a raw material used to make the medical meltblown non-woven fabric that forms the microbe-intercepting middle layer of face masks and which is also used in other protective clothing, to India, Vietnam and other countries since last month, it said, adding it will rationally structure its production and export plan based on market conditions.The firm has received orders from many countries, including the UK, US, France and the UAE. Its surgical gloves are now exempted from US tariffs.

“There is often a delay in matching supply and demand. We can see a large amount of mask production capacity is being built in China. As the domestic epidemic has gradually come under control and [the virus] has spread overseas, this time lag will feed external demand, opening a window of opportunity for face mask exports,” an industry analyst told media.

The EU granted market access to the SARS-CoV-2’s antibody test kit developed by a unit of Beijing-based Lepu Medical after the product was certified, the firm said in a March 12 statement. Various companies, including Shandong province-headquartered Sinocare and Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech, also said their virus detection products qualified to enter the EU.

The role of traditional Chinese medical compounds such as Banlangen and Japanese honeysuckle in fighting against the Covid-19 epidemic has drawn much attention. Shenzhen-based China Resources Sanjiu Medical & Pharmaceutical’s overseas transactions made up a tiny proportion of the company’s overall business, and it has exported a small amount of Banlangen — some of the recent exports were donations — the firm said on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s investor relations management platform.

With the effective control of the Covid-19 epidemic in China and the increasingly serious epidemic abroad, the firm is researching and developing granulated Chinese medicines to expand its overseas markets.

Editor: Ben Armour

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