Italian imports rise
In 2018, Italy imported 1.06 million tonnes of pig meat (excl. offal), 4% more volume than the year before. A 4% rise in imports of fresh and frozen pork (over 90% of Italian pig meat imports) caused most of this growth. Despite Italian pig slaughter falling slightly (-1%), domestic production of pig meat remained relatively steady, totalling 1.47 million tonnes.
Germany remained Italy’s largest trading partner for fresh and frozen pork, sending 337,000 tonnes of product to Italy throughout the year. Spain and the Netherlands were the second largest exporters, both shipping around 151,000 tonnes of pork. All of Italy’s major trading partners shipped more fresh and frozen pork across the border last year, with Denmark and France showing the largest growth (+9%).
Despite the quantity of Italy’s pig meat imports increasing on the year, the overall value fell by 8% to €2.00 billion. This reflects subdued EU prices last year.
Exports of pig meat from Italy (although small in comparison to its imports) also fell on the year by 5% to 260,000 tonnes. As discussed in the last update on Italy’s pork trade, higher imports coupled with falling exports suggest increasing pig meat consumption within Italy. However, retail sales data for fresh pork continues to paint a different picture, suggesting the meat was processed, channelled through foodservice, or stored. A slightly lower slaughter figure (11.3 million head) indicates heavier carcase weights sustained production levels, potentially for an increasing production of traditional hams.
Hannah Clarke, Analyst
Hannah.Clarke@ahdb.org.uk, 0247 693 5745