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Italian Grain Imports Drop as Wheat and Corn Purchases Decline

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Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Italian grain imports fell in the year’s first nine months as the country cut purchases of wheat and also bought less corn and barley, the Associazione Nazionale Cerealisti said.

Inbound shipments of grain and cereal products slid to 7.45 million metric tons with a total value of 2.18 billion euros ($2.84 billion), Anacer, as the Rome-based industry group is known, wrote in an e-mailed statement today. That compared with 9.77 million tons and 2.74 billion euros a year earlier.

Soft-wheat imports fell to 3.24 million tons costing 765.2 million euros this year through September, from 4.07 million tons and 995.2 million euros a year earlier, according to Anacer. Buying of durum wheat, the hard variety used for pasta, declined to 1.09 million tons worth 331.7 million euros, compared with 1.65 million tons and an import bill of 457.9 million euros in last year’s first nine months.

Nine-month corn imports dropped to 1.43 million tons from 1.97 million tons, and the value fell to 332.2 million euros from 466.4 million euros, according to Anacer. Barley purchases slid to 374,788 tons from 741,521 tons, with a value of 81 million euros against 163.2 million euros in 2011.

Italy’s nine-month cereal-industry exports amounted to 2.127 billion euros, against the year-earlier 2.135 billion euros, Anacer reported. The country’s grain-trade deficit shrank to 1.29 billion euros from the year-earlier shortfall of 1.81 billion euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Deane at jdeane3@bloomberg.net