Covid-19: EU imports of face masks added up to 14BN euro in first semester of 2020

Comparing the first semester of 2019 with the first semester of 2020, the value of imports of face masks into the European Union grew dramatically, from 800 million euro to 14 billion euro, an increase of 1800 per cent, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on October 6.

As can be expected, EU countries with a large population imported more face masks than member states with a small population, Eurostat said.

However, when looking at per capita imports there are notable differences among EU countries, the statistics agency said.

Luxembourg, with a government policy of nationwide distribution of face masks, had by far the highest per capita imports of face masks at 121 euro per person.

Belgium, Germany and France were the only other countries with imports above 50 euro per person.

In contrast, imports were below 10 euro per person in Cyprus, Poland, Sweden, Croatia, Greece and Bulgaria.

China was the main EU partner for the import of face masks, supplying 92 per cent of face masks in the first semester of 2020, up by 30 percentage points compared to the first semester 2019.

With the exception of Hong Kong, the other top-six EU import partners all lost market share. In the first semester of 2020, only Vietnam and Hong Kong supplied more than one per cent of total EU face mask imports. The United Kingdom, Turkey and Tunisia all had a share of 0.7 per cent, Eurostat said.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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