Italian deli meat exports rise amid swine fever spread

The main target markets are France and the United States, where raw hams and salamis from Italy are highly appreciated

Despite the impact of swine fever in markets that do not apply regionalization, Italian deli meat exports continue to grow. According to data from Assica (the association of Italian meat and deli meat producers), export volumes reached 76,379 tons (including bresaola) in the first four months of 2022, growing by +4.6 percent compared to the same period in 2021. Turnover, also helped by the wave of price increases, rose +9.1 percent to 723.5 million euros.

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EU country markets drive export growth, with a +5.9 percent increase in volume, or 54,549 tons, and sales of 509.8 million euros, up +11 percent. Exports of Italian deli meat to Europe are soaring in France, where they put up +17.4 percent in sales by value, amounting to 115.3 million euros. Export sales stand out also in Sweden (+20.3% for 23.1 million), Spain (+27.1% for 16 million), Denmark (+20.2% for 12.8 million), and Ireland (+27.2% for 12.8 million). Outside the EU, the UK market is growing again (+10.6% in value, for 71.8 million) after the downfall that followed Brexit. Results are also excellent in the USA, with a further jump in sales of +9% in volume, for 7,022 tons, and +25.7% in value, equal to 78.4 million.

Italian deli meat exports (Jan. – May 2022 compared to Jan. – May 2021)

Total EU509.8+11%
WORLD TOTAL723.5+9.1%
Source: Assica


After the worst stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, exports of Italian boneless cured hams, speck, coppa, and culatello are back on a remarkable rise. In the first four months of 2022, this segment grew globally by +7.2 percent in volume, for 26,901 tons, and +8.5 percent in value, for 329.2 million euros. This is primarily due to sales performance in France and the United States, where sales increased by +17.4 and +19.3 percent respectively. Sales of cured sausages and salami also grew, reporting +11.5 percent progress in exported volumes (17,742 tons), with turnover up +12.4 percent (187.8 million euros). The sales trend in the United States still stands out, thanks to an exploit of +97.2%, crossing the threshold of the 10 million euro mark. The Canadian market also shows excellent development opportunities, with the segment growing by +358.4% in value (6.6 million).


Cooked ham also reports good results, although it is still the most exposed to competition from local products. Its exports worldwide are worth 71.3 million euros (+10.6 percent), for 9,149 tons (+8 percent). The top export market is France, with sales approaching 20 million euros (+14.7%), ahead of Germany (-2.1%, for 15 million), Belgium (+29.7%, for 3.3 million), Austria (-7.4%, for 3 million), Poland (+40.9%, for 2.8 million), and the United States (+34.5%, for 2.7 million). The performance of the category including mortadella, frankfurters, cotechino, and zampone is much more disappointing. Globally, exports dropped by -6.3 percent in volume, for 15,640 tons. However, sales increased by +3 percent, to 68.5 million euros.

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