If Made in Italy has grown by 2.9% in the first 7 months of 2020, the EU aims to confirm the 2019 record: over 151 billion euros. Typical products triumph, but the threat is with imitations.
Everything is fine, even better than usual. Or not: Food & Beverage also suffers. The indications form the markets in recent months are contradictory to say the least: how is international trade really going and, in particular, Made in Italy?
Made in Italy is growing, but look out for Italian Sounding
Starting from the latter, research carried out by CIA-Agricoltori Italiani (Italian Farmers) in collaboration with the CGIA di Mestre (Association of Artisans and Small Businesses) in Italy estimates that agriculture will grow by 5.5% between now and 2023, after having faced losses of 2.9% in 2020. According to the survey, this year’s figure is the result of the losses contained in the wholesale food trade of raw materials (- 3%), the resilience of food products (+ 0.1%) and the growth of retail (+ 3.1%), recording specifically an increase of 3.9% in large-scale distribution (especially in discount stores, + 6.6%) and up 3.5% in small shops. The European Recovery Fund, and above all exports, will drive growth over the next three years, however.
Coldiretti also agrees that, in contrast to the general trend, agri-food exports have recorded an increase of 2.9% in the first seven months of 2020, second only to that of pharmaceutical products. Exports are mainly driven by typical products or products with a designation of origin, such as DOC wines which, despite the situation, continue to be enjoyed on international markets, recording an 8.9% increase. The main threat? Above all, the so-called Italian Sounding, imitation products that try to “look” Italian. Also, according to Coldiretti, in addition to the interruptions in global supply chains due to the pandemic, this year the direct damage caused to Made in Italy by imitations is estimated at 100 billion euros.
Exports from all over Europe are growing
By broadening our gaze towards Europe, the ambition this year is to preserve the levels reached in 2019, a record year EU for agri-food exports. According to data from the European Commission, last year European Food & Beverage exports exceeded 151 billion euros (+ 10% compared to 2018), also increasing the surplus by 3%, which reached a record figure of almost 32 billion euros. The main destinations are the USA (24.3 billion euros), China (15.3 billion), Switzerland (8.5 billion), Japan (7.6 billion) and Russia (7.2 billion). Together, these 5 markets account for over 40% of European agri-food exports.