September 16, 2011


Italy pays more to import grains



Italy paid 48% more to import grain for the first half of 2011 as a result of higher wheat and corn prices, according to a Bloomberg report.


The value of inbound shipments jumped to EUR1.8 billion (US$2.5 billion) from EUR1.22 (US$1.69 billion) a year earlier, the Rome- based Associazione Nazionale Cerealisti, known as Anacer, said.


The inflation rate in Italy, the euro region's third- biggest economy, was unchanged in June from the previous month at 3%, remaining at the highest level since October 2008 amid rising food prices. Wheat prices in Chicago were up 28% from a year earlier at the end of June and corn advanced 66%, increasing costs for importers.


The volume of Italian grain imports rose 6.7% to 6.3 million tonnes in the half from 5.91 million tonnes a year earlier, Anacer said.


Italy imported 7.35 million tonnes of wheat in the marketing year through June, based on Anacer figures. That would make the country the world's second-biggest buyer of the grain behind Egypt, which purchased 10.5 million tonnes in the period, International Grains Council figures show.


Italians include more wheat products such as bread and pasta in their diet than the French, Germans, Americans or British, data from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center show.

Soft-wheat import volumes of 2.29 million tonnes were little changed in the half from the year earlier 2.3 million tonnes, while shipments surged 70% by value to EUR601.9 million (US$834.3 million). Imports of durum wheat, the hard variety used in pasta, fell to 998,633 tonnes from 1.03 million tonnes by volume as the cost rose 24% to EUR269.3 million (US$373.3 million), the data showed.


Italy's wheat imports rose to an eight-year high in 2010 as domestic output fell.


First-half corn imports rose 39% from a year earlier to 1.56 million tonnes in volume terms and more than doubled to EUR334.7 million (US$463.9) by value, Anacer said.


Including oilseed and protein-crop products, the value of Italy's imports increased 34% to EUR2.58 billion (US$3.58 billion) in the period from EUR1.93 billion (US$2.68 billion)


Italian cereal-industry exports were EUR1.44 billion (US$2 billion) from January to June, compared with 1.26 billion (US$1.75 billion) euros a year earlier, Anacer said. That resulted in a grain-industry trade deficit of EUR1.14 billion (US$1.58), widening from the prior year's EUR671.3 million (US$937.5 million) shortfall.

Video >

Follow Us