The balance of the fresh produce sector in 2019 stopped at €348.6 million against the €781.7 of 2018 (-55.4%). While imports exceeded exports when it comes to quantity (3.7 million tons against 3.6 million), the value of exports (€4.6 billion) remained above that of imports (€4.2 billion).
This analysis was made by Fruitimprese based on Istat data.
The sensitive reduction of the trade balance was mainly due to the increase in imports (4% in quantity and 11.1% in value). Exports experienced a 22.5% increase in quantity and a drop of just 0.2% in value. Overall, Italy shipped abroad around 3 million 642 thousand tons of products worth €4 billion and 590 million. There was an increase in the volumes of vegetables (0.9%), fresh fruit (5.7%) and dried fruit (2.1%) and a drop in the volumes of citrus fruit (-13%). The value of vegetables (4.1%) and dried fruit (1.2%) grew while that of citrus fruit (-5.2%) and fresh fruit (-2.3%) decreased.
As for imports, Italy imported around 3.7 million tons worth €4.2 billion. There was an increase in the volume of vegetables (7%), citrus fruit (5.8%), fresh fruit (7.4%) and dried fruit (13.5%) and a drop in that of tropical fruit (-4.7%). When it comes to value, the sign was positive for all segments except citrus fruit (-6.4%).
Fruitimprese president Marco Salvi commented by saying that "the data for 2019 confirms the volumes and quantities of exports. It also confirms a strong demand from Italian consumers and families, which justifies the increase in imports. These figures cannot please us, especially if compared to those of other countries."
Fruitimprese President Marco Salvi
"It is our conviction that it is possible to start growing on both the foreign and domestic markets thanks to new bilateral agreements and suitable promotional campaigns."
"As regards the new Coronavirus crisis, I would like to stress how businesses are working day and night to guarantee supplies in compliance with health norms and Government decrees. We have immediately adapted to Government provisions when it comes to the work environment to safeguard the health of our employees. We continue supplying products with the maximum organoleptic and hygienic guarantees and maybe it is precisely in emergency situations such as this one that we realize just how precious the work of our businesses is."
"This crisis is teaching us that the value of products does not just reside in the price, but also in quality guarantees and certifications. Italy has something to gain from all this, as we are second to none when it comes to safeguarding the health of our consumers. I reiterate that discrimination towards our products from foreign chains is unacceptable, as improvised decisions are damaging our productions."
"Finally, I would like to thank Ministers Bellanova and De Micheli for quickly solving the problem with the Brenner Pass after the measures taken by the Austrian authorities."