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German companies produce more disinfectant, but not more toilet paper

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Partially emptied shelves in a Munich supermarket
FILE PHOTO: Partially emptied shelves in a Munich supermarket

BERLIN (Reuters) - The COVID-19 pandemic caused a spike in production of disinfectants and pasta, but a rise in toilet paper output proved only temporary, the German statistics office said on Wednesday.

German companies produced 80% more disinfectant and 20% more pasta in the first nine months of the year, but production of toilet paper overall fell by 3.5% to 85,300 tonnes.

In March and in April, when the first wave of the pandemic hit Germany and hoarding led to it all but disappearing from supermarket shelves, toilet paper production surged by 17% and 12% respectively.

Production of disinfectant reached a high in April, when monthly production was 161% higher year on year.

The numbers do not show the impact of another month-long lockdown that Germany imposed in early November to control the second wave of the virus.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose by 17,561 to 833,307 and the death toll by 305 in the past 24 hours, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Wednesday.

Politicians including Chancellor Angela Merkel have signalled that restrictions could be tightened further next week.

(Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Thomas Escrit and David Goodman)