Despite the increase in cultivated areas, according to Italmopa – Association of Italian Millers – the production of Italian durum wheat should record a production volume of about 3.9 million tonnes this year, down 2.5% compared to 2019 (4 million tonnes). The needs of the milling industry amount to over 5.8 million tonnes.
The reduction has been due, to a large extent, to the 25% durum wheat production downfall in Apulia caused by the anomalous climatic trend. Nevertheless, with a production of about 760,000 tons Apulia is still Italy’s main producer overtaking Sicily, Marche, and Emilia-Romagna.
Production of durum wheat in Italy (hectares per region)
ITALIAN DURUM WHEAT: QUANTITY AND QUALITY
“However, the national production of durum wheat is not entirely destined for the milling industry – says the president of Italmopa, Cosimo De Sortis -. Every year about 300,000 tons are destined for exports, seed production or downgraded to other uses. This reduces the actual availability of domestic raw material and inevitably increases import forecasts for 2020 to at least 40% of total requirements”.
“As far as quality is concerned – says Francesco Divella, president of Italmopa Durum Wheat Mills Section – in Sicily and Apulia we recorded an increase of about 1% in the protein content, that is traditionally considered the main quality parameter. In the other main producing regions the situation appears, in this respect, less favourable but still satisfactory overall”.