Italy’s pork imports are at their highest for 16 years

Pork imports into Italy during the first half of 2014 were 9% above the same period last year, reaching the “highest half-year figure in records back to 1998″, according to BPEX.

Quoting the latest published figures, BPEX said Italy’s pork imports increased to 504,500 tonnes in the first half of this year, up 9% on 2013.

“The high import requirement was a direct consequence of a sharp reduction in domestic pig meat production,” said BPEX, adding that the largest share of pork imports came from Germany, which provided over a third of the total.

“In the first half of the year, Germany supplied 9% more pork to Italy, despite lower domestic availability. In addition, the Netherlands and Spain also increased shipments by 8% and 15% respectively between January and June this year, compared with 2013. There was a similar trend across the other main suppliers, including France (up 10%), Denmark, (up 7%) and Poland (up 15%).

“The value of total imports during the first half of the year totalled just over €1 billion, up 7% compared with the same period in 2013.”

Turning to live pig imports during the same six-month period, a year-on-year increase of 42% was reported, taking total imports to 617,600 head.

“Over three-quarters of these pigs were sourced from Denmark and the Netherlands,” said BPEX. “In addition, imports from Germany doubled in the latest period, although these increases in live pig imports failed to offset the decline in domestic production.”

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