World Grain - May 2018 - 28
Focus on Italy
Thriving milling industry is a major
producer of durum flour for pasta
by Chris Lyddon
Italy has a diverse grains sector, with the country's climate and
taste for pasta making durum wheat an important crop. It needs to
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in previously dry areas, while corn production is set to rise to 6.3
million tonnes from 6 million. Sorghum production is forecast at
Durum wheat production, which is also included in the wheat
The European grain sector organization COCERAL forecasts
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2018 production forecast
from 1.140 million the year
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tion in 2018 is forecast at
24,000 tonnes, down from
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is forecast at 22,000 tonnes,
Population: 62,137,802 (July 2017 est.)
Religions: Christian 80% (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic
with very small groups of Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestants), Muslim (about 800,000 to 1 million), atheist and
Location: Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the
central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia.
Government: Parliamentary republic. Chief of state: President Sergio Mattarella (since Feb. 3, 2015); head of government: Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (since Dec. 12, 2016).
Economy: Italy's economy compromises a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a
less-developed, highly subsidized, agricultural south, with a
legacy of unemployment and underdevelopment. The Italian
economy is driven in large part by the manufacture of highquality consumer goods produced by small and mediumsized enterprises, many of them family-owned. Italy also has
a sizable underground economy, which by some estimates
accounts for as much as 17% of GDP. These activities are
most common within the agriculture, construction and service sectors. Italy is the third-largest economy in the euro
zone, but its exceptionally high public debt and structural
impediments to growth have rendered it vulnerable to scrutiny by financial markets. Public debt has increased steadily
since 2007, reaching 131% of GDP in 2017. Investor concerns about Italy and the broader euro-zone crisis eased in
2013, bringing down Italy's borrowing costs on sovereign
government debt from euro-era records. The government
still faces pressure from investors and European partners to
sustain its efforts to address Italy's longstanding structural
economic problems, including labor market inefficiencies, a
sluggish judicial system, and a weak banking sector. Italy's
economy returned to modest growth in late 2014 for the
first time since 2011. In 2015-16, Italy's economy grew at
about 1% each year, and in 2017 growth accelerated to
1.5% of GDP. In 2017, overall unemployment was 11.4%,
but youth unemployment remained high at 37.1%.
GDP per capita: $38,000 (2017 est.); inflation: 1.4%
(2017 est.); unemployment: 11.4% (2017 est.).
Currency: Euros: 0.81 euro equals 1 U.S. dollar (April 20,
Exports: $499.1 billion (2017 est.): engineering products,
textiles and clothing, production machinery, motor vehicles,
transport equipment, chemicals; foodstuffs, beverages, and
tobacco; minerals, nonferrous metals.
Imports: $426.7 billion (2017 est.): engineering products,
chemicals, transport equipment, energy products, minerals
and nonferrous metals, textiles and clothing; food, beverages, tobacco.
Agriculture: 2.1% of GDP and 3.9% of the labor force.
Internet: Code: .it; 38,025,661 users.
Source: CIA World Factbook
May 2018 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com