Italy’s agricultural products and food exports have increased in 2014 but at half the pace of 2013. The country’s exports were estimated at €34 billion in 2014, representing a 2.4% annual increase compared with a 5.8% increase registered in 2013. The food and beverages segments performed slightly better, with a 3.2% growth, although they are still far from 2013 and 2010 levels, at 5.8% and 10.2% respectively.
“Exports growth has been influenced by a number of economic factors” says Denis Pantini, Director of Italian economics think tank Nomisma’s agriculture and food practice.
“Economic sanctions against Russia, the strengthening of the euro and a slow-down of the global economy have all contributed to contain Italy’s agri-food exports. However, the nearly total parity between the euro and the dollar should favor the growth of Italian exports in 2015,” Pantini adds.
If we take a look at data provided by Italian statistical agency ISTAT and analyzed by Nomisma, nearly all of “Made in Italy” products have seen their exports grow in 2015, a part form agricultural products, at €5.6 billion (-1.3%) and vegetable fats, at €1.9 billion (-1.8%).
All other main export items (i.e. those whose value are estimated at least €1 billion) have registered growth rates that go from 1.7% (beverages) to 4.7% (cereals and dairy products).
We must highlight the sudden slowdown of two of Italy’s leading cheese products, Grana Padano and Parmigiano Reggiano, whose exports stalled at €770 million (+0.2%) against a 4.8% average growth in the cheese segment. It was probably a drop in demand from extra-EU markets, perhaps from Russia, which negatively affected demand for two of Italy’s most widely known food products. Back in their home market (the EU) they registered a 3.4% growth.
Pasta’s exports reached €2.26 billion, a 4.2% growth over the previous year. Wine exports grew by 1.4%, reaching €5.11 billion, marking a positive result compared with the weak performance that was registered halfway through the year.
Finally, olive oil products enjoyed a tiny growth (0.2%), at €1.1 billion.
About 70% of Italy’s food exports reach European markets. The UK and the Netherlands are particularly strong markets, accounting for €3 billion (+7%) and €1.2 billion (4%) respectively. The Netherlands is a leading global trade hub, thus partially explaining its strong demand for Italian imports. Demand from Germany has slowed down by an estimated 2%, at €6 billion.
Both the US and Japan have once again proved to be important markets at €3 billion (+6.3%) and at €781 million (+7%) respectively. If we take a look at emerging markets, we see that the drastic fall in demand from Russia, now at €615 million is counterbalanced by a growth in demand from China (7.6%) and Brazil (14.8%).
Demand for Italian wine keeps on growing in both the US (+4.4%) and the UK (6.2%) while it is slowing down in Russia (-10.5%) and getting back to good levels in China (+1.2%).
© ITALY EUROPE 24 - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED