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Italy confirms itself as world leader in pasta

Search UIF: Italy leads the ranking of producers with 3.6 million tons ahead of Turkey and USA

The world production of pasta is close to 17 million tons. Above all, what matters is that Italy remains firmly in the lead in the ranking of the producer countries with 3.6 million tons (ahead of Turkey and the United States) and a turnover of almost 7 billion Euros. This is what the latest analysis elaborated by UIF, Unione italiana food (based on ISTAT data) for the period January-December 2023, according to which Italy exported over 2.2 million tons of pasta, recording a slight contraction in volumes (-3.7% compared to 2022)in line with the general trend in the agri-food sector. 

Despite this, the value of exports increased by 3% compared to the previous year, reaching 3.8 billion Euros: most of the exported pasta, about 1.5 million tons, is destined for the countries of the European Union, while almost 780000 tonnes are sent to third countries.

According to the research, exports to EU countries occupy 64.8% of the total, slightly less than the 65% recorded in 2022, while the remaining 35.2% concerns non-EU countries, America, Asia, Africa, Oceania. Germany (425,134 tonnes), the United Kingdom (278,043 tonnes), France (264,269 tonnes), the United States (247,088) and Japan (67,233) are the most receptive countries. 

In addition, the desire for spaghetti&co produced in the Belpaese recorded growth between 5% and 20% in Brazil, Israel, Finland, Slovenia, Albania, Morocco, Peru, Luxembourg, Portugal, between 20 and 50% in Lebanon, Australia, Somalia, Georgia, Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan, Nepal, higher than 50% in Asian countries such as Mongolia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Good signs with respect to consumption are also recorded in some African countries such as Cameroon, Rwanda, Mozambique and Nigeria, probably favored by a small increase in tourism in these areas.

Italians, among other things, are the biggest consumers of pasta with about 23 kilos per capita per year and a total of 1.3 million tons consumed. Not only that: in 25 years, countries where more than 1 kilo per capita of pasta is consumed per year have almost doubled. If in Italy, as we said, per capita consumption is 23 kilos, in Tunisia, second in this special ranking, is 17 kilos. This is followed by Venezuela (15 kg), Greece (12.2 kg), Peru (9.9 kg) Chile (9.6 kg), the United States (8.8 kg), Turkey (8.7 kg), Iran (8.5 kg), France (8.3 kg) and Germany (7.9 kg). We are also Italians, those who, more than anyone, make it known to the rest of the world: well over half of the national production of pasta is destined abroad (about 61%). 

"Today more than 60% of the pasta packages produced in Italy are exported -explains Margherita Mastromauro, president of the Italian Pastai of Unione Italiana Food-. And if Italian pasta enjoys so much success abroad and has an extremely positive perception it is thanks to the knowledge of making centenary of Italian pasta".

Again: according to research, pasta is confirmed as an increasingly sustainable, versatile, nutritionally balanced and accessible food. Its packaging also allows 100% recovery of packaging materials and moves towards new cooking methods thanks to the improvement of production processes. Sustainability also means creating supply chain contracts that focus on crops with low environmental impact and good agricultural practices: this food has an extremely low footprint (the footprint of 1 sqm overall per serving) and at the table is the protagonist of many antispreco recipes that enhance leftovers in hearty and delicious dishes.

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EFA News - European Food Agency