What are the difficulties for masks to meet the market demand?
"You can't buy masks anywhere." Li Peng said to wired insight.
He used to stock up some masks at home, but didn't expect that he would never buy another one in such a long time.
When novel coronavirus was handed down to people in January 20th, Zhong Nanshan sold the mask quickly on the pharmacy and the electronic business platform. During the Spring Festival, the capacity of many factories has not been restored.
Li Peng thought it would be easier to buy masks after the Spring Festival holiday, but the supply of masks in the market has not been restored. From N95 to disposable masks, he tried many times, but "can't get them, the price is too high, the logistics can't keep up" and so on, which made him give up the idea of buying masks in China.
Li Peng finally chose a Korean representative to buy the kf94 mask, "the specification of this mask is similar to that of N95 in China, but it will be much cheaper in price, about 5 yuan per mask, even if the price has increased recently, it will be about 10 yuan." However, he also said the masks would not be available until February 8 at the earliest.
In the face of this war without gunpowder, masks are an important defense line against virus infection, but at present, the shortage of supply and logistics does not give people a sense of security.
Behind this, the epidemic continues to spread.
Novel coronavirus pneumonia cases were diagnosed in 28120 cases nationwide, 24702 cases were suspected, 564 cases died and 1307 cases were cured, as reported by Sina News real-time dynamic tracking data as at 16:37 on February 6th (Beijing time).
In this case, going out is still risky. How to realize the effective supply of masks as soon as possible is the focus of public attention in the near future.
Why is it hard to buy?
The next day after the city was closed in Wuhan, Li Peng's family went to a nearby drugstore and wanted to buy some N95 masks, but the drugstore owner told them, "they've been sold out for a long time. They're out of stock." Li Peng recalled that the drugstore owner told them that they would go out to stock up at seven or eight in the morning, but the supply was still in short supply.
The same "dissuade" buyers, there are more speculation higher prices. "At the peak of the price, an N95 mask costs 35 yuan, and a thousand yuan can only buy dozens of masks." Li Peng told wired insight.
Behind the battle for masks, the supply side is the real constraint. From inventory to production capacity, a number of mask manufacturers are facing a test.
The head of a drug sales company in Hunan once told Xiaoxiang Morning Post that in Hunan, masks of many manufacturers are divided into two lines, one is the hospital, the other is the drugstore. "We should first ensure Wuhan and the hospital, and then we will go to the market, that is, the drugstore."
The person in charge said that their company mainly takes the goods from a mask manufacturer in Xinxiang, Henan Province, but "the factory over there can produce more than one million masks a day, which can't be sent to us casually. They are all advanced hospitals or many to Wuhan." He said so.
Demand surged, and many mask manufacturers had to end the long Spring Festival holiday ahead of time to respond quickly.
Liao Jiaming is the general manager of Sichuan hengming Medical Equipment Co., Ltd. Since January 23, he has recalled three times the wages of workers who have been on holiday. These workers work in three shifts to produce medical masks 24 hours a day.
But he still has new problems. Previously, in an interview with the world's online merchants, Liao Jiaming pointed out that non-woven fabric and filter element are the key raw materials for the production of medical masks, N95 and other masks, and the gap between raw materials is also expanding while the production capacity is expanding in an instant. "The raw materials that hengming medical stored up years ago can produce 340000 masks, which have already been used up." He said so.
A senior executive of 3M China Co., Ltd. once wrote in the circle of friends: "3M has no masks in stock." "The factory's stock and raw material supply are all made on a monthly basis, and the demand is 100 times higher at a time, and we can't make a year's supply," he said
The mask produced must pass the inspection before it can leave the factory smoothly. A medical device practitioner told the daily person, "the mask produced should be placed for 14 days according to the regulations, and only after passing the inspection can it leave the factory. This process time is regulated by the state, and cannot be shortened." This undoubtedly increases the time cost of the mask flowing to the market.
To sum up, the shortage of early inventory makes the medical resources such as masks incline to the front line of epidemic prevention more. However, even in the case of increased follow-up production capacity, the shortage of raw materials, the time vacuum period between the production and the inspection of products, and the logistics dilemma all make the supply of masks more difficult.