The data on export and the balance of trade of Italian fresh produce are progressively worsening. The first negative financial result in history was reported over the past few days, but a deeper analysis revealed that the drop in competitiveness of the produce is progressive and it will be hard to change things due to the fierce competition from countries like Spain.
Where to start? CSO Italy director Elisa Macchi, who attended the "Italy. The Beauty of Quality" collective organized by CSO at Fruit Attraction in Madrid focused on the "drop in cultivated areas and the production problems caused by climate change. If we think about kiwifruits, for example, we can see how Veneto, Piedmont and Lazio were affected by vine decline. Pears were in turn affected by the brown marmorated stink bug and mottling, which led to a loss of 60%. We need to act quickly to solve production problems and relaunch our produce."
Elisa Macchi, director of CSO Italy
At Fruit Attraction, CSO Italy compared the Italian and Spanish data. In 2018, Spanish exports reached over €15 billion with imports totaling less than €4.5 billion (+€10.5 billion). Italian exports reached €4 billion 891 million with imports amounting to €4 billion 641 million (+€250 thousand).
In 2016, Italy imported fresh produce from Spain for €636 million and only exported it for €192 million. In 2017, imports reached €751 million and exports increased slightly to €216 million. In 2018, it imported produce for €737 million and exported it for €157. Italy mainly exports kiwifruits, apples and table grapes, while it imports bell peppers, strawberries, lemons, clementines etc.