Impact of COVID-19 on the Ultra-Low Temperature Freezers Market
Ultra-low freezers have gained popularity in recent years in pharmaceutical manufacturing and the life sciences research sector. The rapid expansion of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries, increasing awareness and technological advancements in ultra-low freeze technology, and growing adoption of ultra-low freezer equipment in the food processing industry have boosted the demand and propelled the market growth.
The ultra-low freezers have several advantages over conventional methods, which helps stabilize heat-sensitive, delicate products without damaging their physical structure and chemical properties. Pharmaceutical and biological products such as viruses, bacteria, eukaryotic cells, blood, and semen are stored in ultra-low freezers. The continuous growth of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries is directly responsible for increasing the demand for industrial equipment, including ultra-low freezers, in manufacturing and research & development applications. As per a report by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, Europe was the second-largest pharmaceutical market, accounting for an 18.1% share. It produced pharmaceutical products worth USD 277.92 billion in 2017. Additionally, pharmaceutical companies in developed countries are investing significant amounts on R&D, which are expected to bolster the growth of the market. For instance, according to the EFPIA member associations, the US holds the first place in pharmaceutical R&D expenditure with USD 52.4 billion, followed by European countries that spent around USD 36 billion on pharmaceutical R&D. Thus, the expanding pharmaceutical industry leads to a subsequent increase in the demand for ultra-low freezers equipment for manufacturing and R&D applications, thereby driving the growth of the global market.
The medical supply chains in Canada have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 than the SARS outbreak of 2003. Principally, China’s position in the global supply chain is much higher in the current scenario. About 10% of unfinished products that are used in the production of final goods in Canada are sourced from China and 4% from South Korea, Italy, and Japan combined. There is a major risk towards Canada’s economy due to the disruption hitting the US industrial sector, as the Canadian industry is tightly integrated with the US. Hence, the market in China and the US primarily account for the impact of the production and supply of ultra-low freezers equipment and devices.
China is a key market for exports from several Latin American countries. Furthermore, it is the top trading partner of Chile, Peru, and Brazil. Additionally, the pharmaceutical/medical device sector in India is facing challenges as the country is dependent on China for procuring bulk drugs and equipment (including ultra-low freezers). The manufacturers that are dependent on Chinese suppliers for the supply of raw materials are expected to be affected the most as production will be curtailed, resulting in a decrease in production. These disruptions in demand and supply, which will eventually affect production, are likely to affect the growth of the ultra-low freezers market.
However, during this challenging period, many medical devices companies are facing challenges arising from the disruption in supply chains and the need to change business models. If the current COVID-19 pandemic lasts for a medium or long period, it may impact the supply of active materials and ingredients, as well as the import and export of pharmaceuticals. Several countries are facing total lockdown, except for essential services, which can affect the sales and production of ultra-low freezers in the coming quarters. Thus, this factor is expected to hinder the growth of the ultra-low freezers market to some extent.