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Bethan Wilkins

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AHDB Pork Market Intelligence

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Higher Italian imports as production lower

Home \ Prices & Stats \ News \ 2014 \ September \ Higher Italian imports as production lower

According to the latest figures, Italy’s pork imports in the first half of this year were up 9% from a year earlier, reaching the highest half year figure in records back to 1998. The high import requirement was a direct consequence of a sharp reduction in domestic pig meat production.

According to the latest figures published by Istat, Italy’s pork imports increased to 504,500 tonnes in the first half of this year, up 9% from a year earlier. This was the highest half year figure in records back to 1998. The high import requirement was a direct consequence of a sharp reduction in domestic pig meat production. The largest share of the pork imports were sourced from Germany, which provided over a third of the total. In the first half of the year, Germany supplied 9% more pork to Italy, despite lower domestic availability. In addition, the Netherlands and Spain also increased shipments by 8% and 15% respectively between January and June this year, compared with 2013. There was a similar trend across the other main suppliers, including France (up 10%), Denmark, (up 7%) and Poland (up 15%). The value of total imports during the first half of the year totalled just over €1 billion, up 7% compared with the same period in 2013.

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Imports of live pigs in the first half of this year increased by 42%, to 617,600 head. Over three-quarters of the pigs imported are sourced from Denmark and the Netherlands. In addition, imports from Germany doubled in the latest period, although these increases in live pig imports failed to offset the decline in domestic production.

Exports account for a small share of Italian pork production but in the first half of this year, shipments of both pork and hams rose, by 9% and 13% respectively. Growth in pork exports largely stemmed from higher demand from Japan, increasing from 1,000 tonnes in 2013 to 4,700 tonnes in the latest bi-annual period.