Exports of Italian cured meats hit new high in the US and UK

After the remarkable results of 2021, sales also performed well in the first quarter of 2022

According to the latest report recently released by Assica, the association of Italian meat and charcuterie industries, in the first quarter of 2022, Italian cured meats exports reached a volume of 44,780 tons, equal to a turnover of 431.5 million euros. These figures correspond to an increase of +5.4 percent in volume and +9 percent in value. The trends are positive for exports to EU countries: +6.4% in volume, or 31,323 tons, and +9.1% in value, or 291.4 million euros.

Italian cured meats exports in the first quarter 2022 – Destination markets

COUNTRY% var. on 2021 in volume% var. on 2021 in value
Source: Assica Report on Istat data

Prominent among the main importing countries are France (in volume, +14.1% for 8,126 tons, and in value +15.5% for 77.3 million euros) and Poland (+57.9% and +33.8%, respectively). Exports to Austria (+8.3% for 1,947 tons, and +9.4% for 18.4 million euros), Spain (+8.2% and +26%), and Belgium (+6.1% for 2,211 tons, and +1.2% for about 25.3 million euros) also stand out. In contrast, sales declined in Germany (-1.6% for 8,264 tons, and -1.2% in value for 85.8 million euros), which nevertheless is still the main destination market.

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In non-EU markets, the export increase was +3.1% in volume for 13,457 tons and +8.7% in value for about 140.1 million euros. Figures for the United Kingdom (+16 percent in volume for 3,792 tons, and +17.9 percent in value for 39.7 million euros), and, especially, the United States (+38.4 percent in both volume and value, for a turnover reaching 46 million euros) were positive.


These numbers, on the whole, confirm the strength of the sector, but at the same time, they also show the first effects of swine fever on exports. Already in the first weeks of 2022, after all, several non-EU countries have adopted restrictive measures against Italian pork meat products. This is the case in China, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, Peru, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cuba, Serbia, and Uruguay, among others. To this list must then be added the partial restrictions, as well as the aggravation of bureaucratic procedures for exports. Considering the trend of sales in non-EU markets that are thus adopting restrictive measures, Italian cured meats exports have dropped by -27.6 percent in both volume and value. This downfall is destined to worsen even further, with exports addressed to Japan set to zero.


In terms of categories, exports of cured raw hams got off to a very good start in 2022. In fact, sales of bone-in and boneless products increased by +8.1 percent in volume to 16,018 tons, and +7.8 percent in value to 190.2 million. Even better were salamis, whose volume sales reached 10,332 tons (+15.9%), for 108.2 million euros (+13.5%).

Italian cured meats exports in the first quarter 2022 – Categories

CATEGORY% var. on 2021 in volume% var. on 2021 in value
Raw Hams+8.1%+7.8%
Cooked Hams+13.4%+10.5%
Mortadella and Sausages-11.3%-1.1%
Source: Assica Report on Istat data

Exports of cooked ham also increased double digits, reaching 5,187 tons compared to the first quarter of 2021 (+13.4%), with a value of 39.5 million euros (+10.5%). Bresaola exports also increased significantly: +8.8% in volume, for 965 tons, and +14% in value for 19.1 million euros. Sales of mortadella and sausage, on the other hand, fell, stopping at 8,696 tons (-11.3%), for a value not exceeding 38.8 million euros (-1.1%).

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