Cyprus has had one of the smallest per capita imports of extra face masks in the EU in the first half of 2020, at €8 per person, Eurostat reported.
“Comparing the first semester of 2019 with the first semester of 2020, the value of EU imports of face masks grew dramatically, from €800 million to €14 billion; an increase of 1,800 per cent!” Eurostat said.
Cyprus spent just €7 million for the additional masks in the first semester of 2020, less than any other EU country.
The island has received several donations of PPE, including face masks from both China and the US over the past several months.
“As can be expected, member states with a large population imported more face masks than member states with a small population. However when looking at per capita imports there are notable differences among member states.”
Luxembourg, with a government policy of nationwide distribution of face masks, had by far the highest per capita imports of face masks at €121 per person. Belgium, Germany and France were the only other countries with imports above €50 per person. In contrast, imports were below €10 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-6 EU import partners all lost market share. In the first semester of 2020, only Vietnam and Hong Kong supplied more than 1 per cent of total EU face mask imports. The United Kingdom, Turkey and Tunisia all had a share of 0.7 per cent.