South Korea said Tuesday it will lift the export ban on nonwoven fabrics this week that are used to produce protective masks as the domestic supply of the materials and masks stabilized.
Under the decision, the country will lift the regulation that bans firms from exporting more than 15 percent of their production of nonwoven fabrics starting Friday, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
Earlier this year, the country ran out of melt-blown nonwoven fabric filters amid soaring demand for protective masks at the early stage of the COVID-19 pandemic, inducing the country to even import the materials.
The country reported its first COVID-19 case on Jan. 20. So far, South Korea has reported more than 25,000 virus cases.
South Korea adopted a de facto rationing scheme system for protective masks in March, in which people could purchase a limited number of face masks per week. The policy was lifted in June.
In a separate report, the country's drug safety ministry said South Korea's production of protective masks reached 300 million units over the period from Sept. 28 to Oct. 11.
South Korea's weekly production of masks had hovered below 100 million this year through late May.
The domestic price of protective masks also stayed at a stable level, it added. (Yonhap)