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How Italian Food Exports Are Overcoming The Pandemic Crisis

In spite of the strong global crisis charged by the Coronavirus pandemic, there are still several prospects for the Italian agri-food sector, particularly in the US market. As per the analysis by Bper, in the next few months, Italian food exports will in fact be able to appreciate the absence of extra duties, taking benefit of contending European producers and thus earning market shares.


In the initial quarter of 2020, nearly all chief exporter countries observed positive performances, with the exclusion of Great Britain (-12.5%) and France (-4%). Italy witnessed one of the best growth performances (+10%), so much so that it gained the bronze medal of exporting countries in worth on an international scale.

Nevertheless, in the second quarter, the reduction was noted by nearly all exporting countries. Likewise, in this period, one with the poorest performance was France, which decreased its exports from €8.7 billion in 2nd Quarter 2019 to €7.2 billion in 2nd Quarter 2020.

This substantial drop is due in portion to the 25% added import duties levied by the United States on some European products, including French wines. Champagne has endured a drop in exports to the U.S. of over €100 million (-67%), and French still wines of €150 million (-43%). As an outcome of this reduction, in the 2nd quarter of 2020 Italy turned into the leading exporter of wines (both still and sparkling wines) to the United States.


Italian food exports diminished in the second quarter of 2020, but some significant exceptions must be observed: Oil, spices and condiments on the one hand, and flour, rice, pasta on the other. The first category’s export sales grew by +9.2%, a portion of which owed to higher sales in the United States. Similarly, in this case, the additional duties levied by the USA administration affected Spanish olive oil (-50%), but not Italy’s (+24%). Exports of Italian flour, rice and pasta grew by 29%, partially owing to sales in the United States (+71%).

The initial evaluations for the 3rd quarter of 2020 saw a partial recovery in global demand for agri-food products from the EU, but the movement will remain negative (-3%). Conversely, a period of growth is anticipated for Italy (+3%), with flour, rice, pasta (+16%) and Oil, spices, condiments (+7%) as driving sectors.



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