“More Italian food on tables around the world. The effect of the pandemic, in the two years between 2020 and 2021, has allowed made in Italy agri-food to increase its presence better than many commercial opponents have done”. This is what underlines the opening words of a report in the new issue of the Gambero Rosso economic weekly, “TreBicchieri”, dedicated to agrifood. In rethinking the incredible blockade of Italian goods at the frontiers with the explosion of the pandemic, in 2020.
The magazine instead calculates that the world has chosen made in Italy as a quality product. Superstars of exports were produced such as pasta, extra virgin olive oil, cheeses, wine, the latter defined as a “true standard bearer and protagonist” of a performance that led him to total over 7 billion. of Euro.
So much so that the sixth edition of the Agrifood monitor forum promoted by Nomisma with Crif, credit information systems, even speaks of “surprising” performance for the agri-food sector. Especially during 2021, which will be remembered as “an extraordinary year for Italian exports” according to the judgment of Denis Pantini, Nomisma’s agri-food manager, in his opinion “thanks to a growth that involved all products, bringing to increases in Italy’s market share in many world markets “.
In detail, the data show that our beautiful country has seen an increase in the course of 2021 and compared to 2019 its weight in value within the most important importing countries, going from 15.4% to 16% in Switzerland, from 7, 8% to 8.7% in Germany, 8.3% to 8.7% in France, 5.6% to 6.3% in the UK, 4.4% to 4.7% in Australia, from 3.1% to 3.5% in Russia. The United States is stable (3.5%) while something is lost in the relationship with China, which goes from 2% to 1.9%, especially because the Chinese, who have increased imports in the pandemic period by over 45% , have mainly purchased agricultural commodities, which do not represent the Italian core business, made up of transformed and processed products.
But moving from the percentage breakdown to the absolute data, the overall picture is this: agri-food exports in 2021 reached record levels reaching over 50 billion euros (in 2015 it was just over 30 billion), thanks to a growth in value of 15% compared to 2019 and 11% over 2020.
The products that were the driving force were wine, meats and cheeses. Wine is confirmed as the most exported Italian good by far, with a share of 14% and an increase in value of 12.7% over 2020 and 10.3% over 2019. Therefore Italy, in agrifood, has done better than other major European countries, such as France and Germany, which remained below 10% (with respective increases of + 8% and + 4%). The ninth place, on the other hand, is won by Italy for the value of world agri-food exports, in a ranking that sees the USA (148.6 billion), the Netherlands (103.1%), Brazil in the top 5 places. (83 billion), Germany (75.4 billion) and France (68.3 billion).
And between 2019 and 2021, those who did better than Italy were countries like Canada, Brazil, the USA, which grew by over 20%. Now, however, we are looking with great apprehension at the Russian-Ukrainian front and at the ongoing conflict, also because if on the one hand Italy’s performance was excellent, on the other hand we have increased exports, however companies are seeing a reduction in economic margins. due to the effect of the increase in costs, mainly energy costs, which have grown by about five times.
The president of the Nomisma Scientific Committee and MEP Paolo De Castro declares to the economic weekly of the Gambero Rosso, with respect to the war in Ukraine: “Any sanctions in the agri-food sector in Russia will generate both direct difficulties, such as export blocks, and indirect ones, in the sense that those countries that lose an important outlet such as Russia will pour their products into the EU borders “.
In any case, now with the war in Ukraine devastating consequences are expected for everyone, especially since the conflict comes after two years of a global pandemic, which has already tested the resilience and economies of all countries.