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Parma Ham: 2020 exports of € 260 million

The closing of the Horeca channel continues to weigh on the sector

The pre-sliced up by 21%, a positive trend destined to consolidate over time

Prosciutto di Parma closes 2020 with a reduction in production: around 8,700,000 branded hams were down by 2.2%, while the thighs started for production were 7,800,000 down by 10% compared to 2019. This is what emerges from the annual numbers presented by the Consortium. 2020 showed a general contraction of the raw ham market. In this context, sales of Parma in Italy in the modern distribution channel decreased by 5.6%, while exports managed to contain the crisis at least in part with a decline of 3% and 2,500,000 Parma hams exported.

The flow of exports had a different trend depending on the reference segment of the manufacturing companies: those supplying the HoReCa channel saw their sales significantly reduce; those that operate in the pre-sliced sector have achieved extraordinary results. This segment - explains the Consortium - has in fact registered a increase of 21%, nevertheless it was not able to compensate for the general decline since the pre-sliced product represents only 10% of the total sales of Parma.

"The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated a trend that had already been underway for several years, namely the growth of pre-packaged Parma Ham favored not only by the effect of confinement, but also by particularly low prices and by the lengthening of the shelf life of the tray, a fundamental aspect for the most distant countries. This is a very important data that we must however interpret in the context of a year of disruption where market conditions have been extraordinary, but it is certain that we can no longer consider this segment marginal, especially at Our goal will be precisely to consolidate the brilliant results of the pre-sliced product by continuing to invest and retain those consumers who have decided to buy Parma in tubs. 2021 promises to be still difficult, at least in the first part of the year, but yes however, note the first signs of recovery in demand that with the reopening of the restaurant and hotel sector, hopefully, they will lead to an increase in wholesale prices which are currently still unprofitable", declared Vittorio Capanna, president of the Parma Ham Consortium.


In 2020, 2,500,000 Parma hams were exported, equal to 29% of the branded hams, for an estimated turnover of € 260 million. Thanks to the strong increase in sliced meat, the USA managed to contain the crisis with 572,000 hams exported (-5%) and confirmed themselves as the leading export market; on the other hand, Germany (-11%, 397,000 hams), France (-13%, 365,000 hams), Japan (-11%) and Canada (-26%) recorded a negative change. The markets of central and northern Europe are doing very well - in particular the Netherlands (+23%) - which benefited from the exceptional results of sliced meat and, among the overseas countries, Australia shows a strong recovery (+ 45%) .


For the production of Parma Ham in trays, about 2 million hams were sliced, equal to 22.8% of production, for a total of 97 million packs. 29% of sales are concentrated in Italy, while exports, which involve over 84 countries, absorb the remaining 71%. All the main Parma markets are growing: the Italian one recorded an increase of 32% and exports of 17%. Extraordinary performance for the United States, which recorded an increase of 46%, surpassing Germany (12 million trays), becoming the second largest market after the United Kingdom (18 million trays).

Europe, including Italy, remains the most important outlet market to which 83% of all cold cuts are destined.

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EFA News - European Food Agency