April 18, 2012


Italy's January corn, wheat imports down


Italian cereals body Anacer said on Tuesday (Apr 17) that Italy's wheat and corn imports dropped in January on-year but expected they picked up in February and March as more imported grains are cleared by the customs.


Imports of soft wheat dropped about 47% to 223,226 tonnes in January, while corn imports fell some 34% to 186,432 tonnes, Anacer said in a statement.


Imports of durum wheat used for making pasta plunged to 81,337 tonnes from 233.009 tonnes, it said.


Sharp grain import falls in the first month of this year compare to strong gains in imports in January 2011. Cereals imports are expected to pick up in February and March as more grain gets cleared by customs, an Anacer official said citing industry estimates.


Grain traders said bad weather in Ukraine at the start of this year had hindered cereal imports from this major supplier.


In 2011, Italy's corn imports surged 25% on-year while imports of soft wheat rose nearly 5%. Anacer did not provide details of grain import origins.


Total imports of cereals and oilseeds to Italy dropped 25% to 1,127,972 tonnes in January, worth EUR341.9 million (US$446.59 million), it said.


Exports of rice from Italy, Europe's biggest producer, dropped 16.8% to 54,528 tonnes in January, it said. Italy's exports of pasta fell to 113,637 tonnes from 118,970 tonnes while exports of cereals-based animal feed fell to 15,634 tonnes from 15,966 tonnes.

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