2017 was a positive year overall for Italian cold cuts: turnover increased to 8,291 million euro (+1.4% on 2016), production to over 1,177 million tonnes (+0.3%), and consumption reached 1,059 million tonnes (+0.4). The value of production was +1.3%, rising to €7,977 million, while apparent per capita consumption was around 17.6 kg compared to 17.5 kg in 2016. Last year was therefore a turning point for consumption, driven in particular by the performance of large-scale distribution. These are the most significant figures relating to the Italian market illustrated in Milan on the occasion of the annual meeting of Assica, the Italian industrial association of meat and cured meats belonging to Confindustria, which brings together about 180 companies and represents 80% of the industrial turnover of the production of Italy’s cured meat.
Cold cuts exports on the rise
Italy’s exports performance has been very good too. According to Assica’s figures based on ISTAT data, exports reached 179,318 tons (+3.3%), for a value that for the first time reached 1.5 billion euros (+6.9%). In particular, exports of cured meats to the EU countries rose by +3% in terms of volume and +6.8% in terms of value. Exports to non-EU countries improved even more, favoured by the strengthening of world trade during the year: +5.1% in volume and +7% in value. Cured meat imports also increased: +4.4% in terms of volume (56,373 tonnes) and +9.4% in terms of value (216.5 million euro). The sector’s trade balance increased by 6.5% to approximately 1.3 billion euros.
Focus on exports countries
Within the EU countries, Germany confirmed its position as the leading destination for Italian cured meats with over 33,857 tons (+3.2%) and 329.8 million euros (+10.2%). The growth of salami is decisive, together with the increments of cooked hams and Bresaola. The trend of shipments to France was positive too, recording +2.5% for 33,220 tons and +7.1% for over 268.2 million euros. On the French market, there was a significant increase in cooked hams, salami and bacon, followed by cooked sausages and Bresaola. Exports to the UK were good, with +3.9% in volume for 16,295 tons and +3.1% in value for 171.9 million euros, strengthening its third position among the reference markets for Italian cold cuts. Over the Channel the brilliant performance of cooked hams stands out, as do other products. Excellent trend for exports to Spain: +7.4% for 12,570 tons and +14.1% for 48.6 million euros. Shipments of cooked hams have further strengthened, but important contributions have also been made by raw hams, salami and cooked sausages. The year was marked by a decrease in exports to Austria (-5.3% for 8,873 tons and -0.9% for 69.9 million euros), which showed a general slowdown in purchases of Italian cured meats. Decrease in quantity but positive sign in value for Belgium and the Netherlands. Finally, Croatia (+11.9% for 7,728 tons and +12.8% for 21.4 million euros), Slovenia (+11.7% and +4.1%) and Greece (+7.7% and +10%) were all positive.
New destination markets
2017 confirmed the positive trend which has been underway for several years now in the export of cured meats – commented Assica’s President Nicola Levoni – and saw the strengthening of the presence of Italian cured meats products in the main international markets. The collaboration with our national and European institutions has been fundamental both on the technical and on the commercial front. In particular, after five years of negotiations Assica recorded the opening of the Taiwan market to Italian pork meat and cold cuts. These are important results – Levoni concluded – obtained in a delicate historical moment: just think of the escalation in the use of duties, which risks triggering a trade war with effects that are difficult to assess. We hope for solutions that strengthen trade, in a logic of respect for every player without prevarication or protectionism.