Italian pork imports stable

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Over the course of 2017 Italy, the world’s third largest importer of pig meat, took in 966,100 tonnes of pork. This was relatively steady on the year, declining by a modest 3,000 tonnes year-on-year.

Imports into Italy are almost entirely from other EU countries, of which Germany is the main supplier, accounting for over a third of total market share. Although, shipments from Germany were down 5% on the previous year. Trade with Spain also declined by 2%. In contrast, imports from Denmark and France rose by 6% and 23%, respectively, following significant declines in 2016, with trade in 2017 more in line with historic figures. Notably Poland increased their shipments to Italy by 6%.

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The live import market shrunk year-on-year in 2017, with volumes down 1% to almost 1.6 million head. Denmark, the main source of live pigs for Italy reduced its deliveries by 8% year-on-year, similarly Spain recorded a 14% decline. In contrast, the Netherlands increased its exports to Italy by 11%, which will have countered some of the reductions elsewhere. 

Italian pork export volumes are much lower than their imports. In what was a positive year for domestic demand, exports were down 7% on the year at 93,900 tonnes in 2017. There was some shift in the destinations of exports. Shipments to EU countries decreased by 17% in 2017, mainly driven by a reduction in exports to Germany, Italy’s leading EU market, which fell by 5% to 7300 tonnes. Exports to non-EU countries increased by 14% in the same period.  Most notably, exports to Japan and Hong Kong rose by 10% and 13%, respectively.

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Abigail Schofield, Analyst

Abigail.Schofield@ahdb.org.uk, 024 7647 8610