August 7, 2007


Italy's wheat imports drop while corn rises in Jan-April



Italy bought less wheat abroad in the first four months of 2007, but imports of corn more than doubled, cereals body Anacer said.


The country -- which imports cereals to cover half of its requirements -- has imported 1,330,390 tonnes in the period, down 1,483,931 tonnes a year ago, Anacer on Friday (August 3) said. Soft wheat accounts for about a third of all cereals imports in Italy.


Corn imports to Italy, Europe's second-biggest producer after France, jumped to 921,757 tonnes from 446,561 tonnes in the same period a year ago.


Imports of durum wheat, which is used for making pasta, fell to 556,018 tonnes from 607,796, Anacer said.


Italy, Europe's biggest rice producer, sold 229,999 tonnes of rice abroad in the first four months of 2007, an 11 percent fall from the same period a year earlier.


Soft wheat flour exports plunged to 55,639 tonnes from 134,886 a year earlier, while durum semolina exports fell to 14,897 tonnes from 22,686 tonnes. Exports of pasta rose to 500,319 tonnes from 488,479.

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