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Thursday, 27 August 2020

Medical supplies flood Egypt’s market, while demand falters

Sales of medical supplies — masks in particular — dropped in August, and are returning to pre-covid levels, said Mohamed Ismail Abdo, head of the Medical Supplies Division at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, according to the local press. This has translated into a slump in utilization rates and production at factories that produce masks and other disposable medical supplies, he added. People are buying fewer masks in recent weeks as the daily covid-19 case count falls, and many people had earlier stocked up on supplies. “Supply has simply outpaced demand,” he noted, forecasting that the decline could continue through year’s end.

Nowhere to put the excess stock: It is very difficult to export excess production, as traditional export markets have also ramped up production, he noted.

Newcomers to the field will be given a swift exit: With numbers being what they are, a number of newcomers who have come in since the crisis are likely to close down, says Sherif Ezzat, head of the medical industries division. He expects older, more established players to weather the drop in sales.

The same could not be said of pharma sales, in July at least: Sales of meds have reportedly seen a 4.5% y-o-y rise in July to EGP 6.7 bn, Souq Al Dawaa reports, citing unnamed industry sources. Sales have been growing m-o-m as well, rising 4.9% from June. 7M2020 sales grew just 0.04% y-o-y.

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