May 24, 2007


Italy's soft wheat imports fall, corn up in January/February



Italy has bought less soft wheat in the first two months of 2007, but imports of durum wheat and corn rose, Italian Cereals Association Anacer said on Wednesday (May 23).


Anacer said in a statement that Italy's imports of soft wheat-which account for about a third of all cereals imports-fell to 637,601 tonnes in January-February of 2007 from 777,219 tonnes in the same period a year ago.


Corn imports to Italy, Europe's second-biggest producer after France, jumped to 422,493 tonnes from 242,754 tonnes in January-February 2006. Hungary has supplied most of the corn as some 97 percent of all corn imports came from the European Union.


Imports of durum wheat-used for making pasta-jumped to 363,354 tonnes from 248,162 tonnes, with Canada-led non-EU import accounting for 98 percent of total durum import, it said.


Turning to exports, Anacer said Italy, Europe's biggest rice producer, sold 110,282 tonnes of rice abroad in the first two months of 2007, down from 129,323 tonnes in a year ago period.


Wheat flour exports dropped to 19,279 tonnes from 70,107 tonnes, while durum semolina exports fell to 6,807 tonnes from 11,010 tonnes. Exports of pasta were little changed at 232,783 tonnes.

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