Friday, October 05, 2007

Condoms, anyone?

Condom Experts to Gather in Korea Around 100 experts in the area of condom standards from over 50 countries around the world will gather in Korea’s southern resort island of Jeju next Monday. They will attend a five-day long conference organized by the International Organization for Standardization to discuss the quality and size of condoms. Korean firms account for the lion’s share of the condom industry around the world, a factor that has led Korea to host the conference. Globally, 80 companies have facilities to produce 12 billion condoms a year, equivalent to W1.1 trillion (US$1=W916). Of the 80 companies, Korea’s Unidus, Dongkuk Trading and Hankook Latex account for 30 percent of the global market, making Korea a sure no.1 in the world.
The conference is expected to focus more on enhancing quality and safety of condoms rather than size, since there already exists a global standard for large, medium and small condoms. At present, condoms 49 mm in width and a minimum of 170 mm in length are small, 53 mm by 170 mm medium, and 57mm by 205 mm large. Large ones are generally being sold in the U.S. and Europe. In Korea, the most popular size changed to medium from small about five years ago.
To further raise the effectiveness of condoms as the best protection against AIDS, period of circulation is likely to be reduced to three or four years from the current five along with tightened quality inspection. In the global condom market, low-priced condoms from China, Malaysia and India are threatening high-priced ones from Korea and other countries. In this light, shoring up the quality standards of condoms may prove an advantage for Korean firms. ( )

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