Italian cured meat exports rise despite swine fever and price increases

Italian product offerings continue to make inroads into foreign markets thanks to the performance of raw ham and salami

According to Istat data published by Assica, the association of Italian meat and cured meat industries, in the period January-September 2022 Italian cured meat exports reached 147,860 tons in volume and €1,455.4mn in value. The growth, compared to the same period in 2021, is thus +2.2 percent in volume and +8.6 percent in value.

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This is a positive result, considering all the difficulties on the international markets,” Assica says in an official statement. “However, sales are below expectations. In fact, exports in value terms for the sector were lower than the average for the Italian food industry (+20.3 percent)”.

Italy’s cured meat exports in 2022

Destination Country% Var. in value (vs 2021)% Var. in volume (vs 2021)
World Total+8.6+2.2
Source: Assica

Overall, sales of Italian cured meat in EU countries showed decent progress, up +3.1% in volume for 103,611 tons and +9.9% in value for 974.6 million euros. Exports increased especially in France (+9% for 26,607 tons, and +15.3% for 264.1 million euros), the main target market in terms of volume, and in Poland (+34.7% and +35.2%, respectively). Sales also increased in Belgium (+2.8% for 6,948 tons and +4.9% for 83.3 million), Austria (+10.2% for 6,590 tons and +15.6% for 60.9 million), and Spain (+1.1% in volume and +18.3% in value).

By contrast, exports decreased in Germany (-5.3% for 25,682 tons and -0.5% by value for 269.6 million), Croatia (-11.1% for 4,794 tons, but +21.3% for 16,502 million in value), the Netherlands (-3.3% and +5.5%, respectively), and Romania (-4.3% and +15.3%) during the period.


On the other hand, volume sales of Italian cured meat slowed down in non-EU markets. There, exports remained basically stable with 44,249 tons, up +6.1% in value (or 480.8 million euros) during the period under consideration. The trend recorded in the US market was excellent (13,657 tons, +19.3%, for a value of approximately 161.1 million euros, +27.4%) as well as sales resilience in the UK. However, exports to non-EU countries that have adopted restrictive measures against African swine fever fell, in total, by -21.4% in volume and -26% in value, thus weighing significantly on final results.


As for product categories, cured ham stands out with a sales increase of +5.3% in volume (totaling 53,469 tons) and +9.6% in value (amounting to 660.2 million euros). The main foreign destination market remains France: +12.7 percent in volume (12,867 tons), and +18.4 percent in value (117 million euros). Second, comes the US market: +18.3% growth in volume, for 8,088 tons, and +26% in value, for 101 million euros.

There were also excellent results for export sales of salami, at 33,250 tons for a turnover of 359.6 million euros (+9%), as well as cured bacon (+9.1% in volume for 5,006 tons and +7.7% in value for 48.4 million euros).

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