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CSO Italy data on pear imports, exports and consumption

Most of Italian pears are sold on the domestic market. After many years of deep crisis, purchases have finally picked up recently.

During the last campaign (July 2016 to June 2017), Italian families purchased 403,000 tons of produce, i.e. 4% more than during the previous season and equal to a per-capita consumption of 6.6 kg. The volume mentioned does not include "not at home" consumption.

The average price was €1.74/kg, slightly above the two previous campaigns though slightly lower than past campaigns. Just under 100,000 tons of pears are imported from abroad every year. In 2016, the volume dropped to just under 90,000, i.e. -2% compared to 2015.

Fruit from the southern hemisphere is decreasing while that from other European producers seems to be increasing. Quantities from South America have diminished slightly, though still representing almost half of the total.

Pears from Argentina have dropped to just over 21,000 tons, while volumes from Chile and South Africa are more constant (15,000 and 7,000 tons respectively).

Most of the volumes imported from Europe come from Spain. In 2016, they almost reached 25,000 tons. The Netherlands, France and Belgium follow at a distance with volumes between 7,000 and 2,000 tons.

Imports from Portugal have also dropped over the past few years due to the lower production. 

As regards exports, Italy shipped less produce due to the lower production. In 2016/17, it only exported 133,000 tons (-13% compared to 2015/16) against the average 150,000 of the past five years.

Although Italian pear production seems to be decreasing, the fruit destined to the foreign market appears to be increasing over the medium period and now stands at 21% against the approximately 15% of 10-15 years ago.

The EU (Italy exports to all EU28 countries) continues to be the main destination, absorbing 93% of the total. Germany remains the main outlet with a share of 40% despite the lower quantities shipped. Volumes towards France are also diminishing at 15%, just like Romania and Austria (7%) and the UK (4%).

Switzerland absorbs most of the produce destined to extra-EU28 countries (4%) after the implementation of the Russian ban. Volumes sent to African countries dropped form 4% in 2015/16 to 2% in 2016/17 as a direct consequence of the fewer shipments sent to Libya due to its political instability. 

The behaviour of the other main producer countries and European exporters is different.

Belgian shipments dropped by 9% in 2016/17 compared to the record of the 2015/16 season. The usual interchange with Holland continues and the other five destinations represent over 55% of the total (UK, France, Spain, Lithuania and Latvia). Before the Russian ban, Belgian exports towards Russia amounted to over 100,000 tons a year, while now 92% is destined to EU countries (over 280,000 on average over the past three seasons). The volumes destined to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is relevant nonetheless, are they maybe directed eastwards? Volumes destined to the Far East are increasing (already almost 2% of the total) thanks to the opening of the Chinese market.

Volumes shipped from Holland during 2016/17 reach over 300,000 tons, +6% compared to the previous season, highlighting a positive trend unlike other exporter countries. Germany is the main outlet but a lot of produce is destined towards the UK, France and Poland too. While traditional European destinations remain strong, the produce sent to Eastern Europe has also increased. Almost 90% of the total is sold in the EU28, but pears shipped to the Far East are increasing too (approx. 1% of the total in 2016/17).

Spanish exports have increased by 16% compared to 2015/16, more in line with the recent historic average. 65% is shipped to Morocco, Italy, Brazil, France and Germany. Volumes towards the Middle East (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Israel) are increasing.

Portugal saw its exports drop by 12% compared to the 2015/16 season due to the lower supplies. The main market remains Brazil, which absorbs 40% of the total. Lower volumes were destined to the UK, France and Germany.  

Publication date: 10/4/2017


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