Italian imports increase in 2014
In 2014, Italy imported over 1 million tonnes of fresh and frozen pork, 8% more than in 2013, making it the world’s leading buyer of imported pork.
This came as domestic production was scaled back and availability of supplies was higher across the EU following the Russian ban, meaning Italy secured its position as a growing net importer. The majority of shipments continued to come from the EU, especially Germany whose share of the market rose to almost 36%. Increases were seen from seven of the ten top ten suppliers to Italy, the exceptions being France with a reduction of only 1%, Belgium and Hungary. The UK increased supplies too, contributing 2,800 tonnes. Unit prices, however, dropped across the board, averaging a fall of 8% on the year, offsetting the increase in volume as the overall value of imports fell marginally to just over €2 billion. Consumers also continued to support the import of processed pig meat, which were up 11% on the year; in this case, a 5% fall in price did not stop a growth in overall value which was up by almost €10 million since 2012.
The amount of Italian pork being exported in 2014 was 2% down on the year, driven by a 17% decrease in pork going to the EU. Further afield, Japan overtook Germany as the primary export destination, receiving more than 4 times the amount of 2013. This non-EU trade helped support an overall rise in unit prices, so the value rose to over €169 million, up almost 9% on the year. Speciality ham exports were equally significant in volume terms, with 75,000 tonnes shipped, up 15% year on year, as domestic demand reduced. This was despite lacklustre demand from the two leading markets, Germany and France, as other EU and global buyers increased their purchases. Despite slightly lower prices, the value of this trade was up 9% to €721 million.