SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — Face mask producers are struggling with spiking demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak originating in China.
Producers are receiving constant calls from consumers as concern over the epidemic is spreading throughout the country.
“We are receiving more than 100 calls every day for orders. Some customers are willing to pay extra,” said one employee at a face mask manufacturing plant in Busan.
Despite high demand, there are limits on the number of face masks that can actually be produced.
Face mask producers often have their hands tied as they wait for supplies to be sent by other manufacturers, who are also struggling to meet the massive increase in demand.
“Orders have increased by a factor of five or 10 compared to usual, and they are still rising,” said a source from a different face mask manufacturer.
“We receive calls not only from local companies, but also from China.”
Spiking demand for face masks is causing mask prices to jump.
A single pack of 20 KF94 masks with 94 percent filtering efficiency that used to cost around 20,000 won (US$17) has jumped to 50,000 won over a span of a few days.
At Gimhae International Airport, Chinese merchants were found buying masks in bulk.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)