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Coronavirus: Indian firms set for windfall as China desperately seeks face mask raw materials

In Gujarat in western India, fabric producer Sidwin Fabric is preparing to ship several tonnes of spunbond non-woven fabric to China next week, capitalising on the mainland’s huge facial mask-making boom during the coronavirus pandemic.

China’s desperation for the raw materials used to make the masks is resulting in a bonanza for Indian companies, which have been shipping more of their high-grade products to China, eclipsing the amount sold locally.

China, the world’s biggest mask maker, went from producing 20 million masks a day to 116 million since late-February when Beijing started directing its powerful state-owned enterprises to lead the increase in production.

Encouraged by Beijing’s incentives to make more masks including lower taxes and subsidies, many private Chinese operators have added mask production lines to their factories, or expanded existing operations.

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