Growth in Italian imports slows
Italy’s pork imports increased 1% from a year earlier to 514,100 tonnes in the first half of this year, according to the latest figures published by Istat.
This increase occurred in spite of ongoing low demand for pig meat while production is also understood to have been lower based on data from the European Commission.
The largest share of pork imports were sourced from Germany, which provided a third of the total and volumes were up 1% on the same period in 2014. Shipments from Denmark and Spain both increased by 10%. Other suppliers shipping higher volumes included Poland, Austria and Ireland, up 31%, 24% and 48% respectively. In contrast supplies from the Netherlands, the third largest supplier, fell by 6% compared to last year, while imports from France fell by 16.
The value of imports during the first half of the year totalled €925 million, down 9% compared with the same period in 2014. This is given a fall of 10% in the average price reflecting the general weakness of the EU pig meat market in 2015.
Imports of live pigs in the first half of this year were up by 31%, to 731,000 head. Volumes sourced from Denmark and the Netherlands increased by 68% and 3% respectively, while shipments of live pigs from Germany fell by 21%. The majority of the rise came in the form of pigs under 50kg, mainly weaners, which were up by 40% and accounted for 77% of total imports.
Italian pork export volumes are at much lower levels than imports. Volumes shipped in the first half of 2015 fell by 17% to 31,300 tonnes. In contrast exports of processed products, mainly hams, increased by 25% to 11,800 tonnes although there are some doubts about the accuracy of the data for Spain.