Imports of agricultural and agri-food products from Italy increased by 14.2%, making Romania the 15th largest market worldwide

Aurel Constantin 23/05/2024 | 12:38

Romania became the 15th largest market for Italian agri-food products worldwide, surpassed in Central and Eastern Europe only by Poland and Greece. Last year, Romania ranked 17th. In 2023, Romania imported more than €882 million worth of agricultural and agri-food products from Italy, up 14.2% on the previous year (around 80% of which were processed food and beverages).


The main Italian food products imported into Romania in 2023 were bakery and pastry products (€111.7 million), coffee (€85.7 million), cheese and dairy products (€83.3 million).

Italy is also the leader for several product categories imported into Romania, which are also the most bought Italian products worldwide, being the first supplier country for preserved tomatoes (with a share of 70.1% of total Romanian imports of such products), wines (with a share of 28.7%), olive oil (share of 40.7%) and pasta (share of 30.9%). It ranks 2nd as a supplier of coffee (23.8% share) and 3rd as a supplier of dried and preserved meat products (prosciutti, speck, etc. – 16% share), cheese, dairy products (13.4% share) and bakery and pastry products (12.1% share).

Italian wines are extremely popular in Romania, in the last 5 years imports of sparkling wines (including Prosecco) from Italy have increased 2.6 times in value and 2.3 times in quantity, while imports of bottled still wines have increased 2.3 times in value and 2.2 times in quantity. Of the total Italian wine imports in 2023, 54% were Prosecco and sparkling wines and 42% bottled still wines.

For its part, last year Romania exported €952 million worth of agricultural and food products to Italy, down 6.2% on 2022, with Italy being the top destination country for Romanian exports in this category (a third of these exports are processed food and beverages). The most exported product categories are: cereals, oilseeds, tobacco, animal and vegetable fats and oils, meat and by-products.

Italy is one of the world’s leading wine producers and exporters (in 2023, it will be the second largest producer and the leading exporter), producing almost a fifth of the world’s wine, with more than 545 registered vine varieties (of which 350 indigenous red varieties, (of which 350 are native red varieties, the country with the highest number of such varieties in the world), which demonstrates the rich biodiversity heritage that Italy can count on and which offers local wines of the highest quality throughout the peninsula, thanks to a millenary tradition.

“Romania is a market of interest for Italy, which is why around 25 top Italian producers are participating this weekend in the Taste of Italy fair, part of the RO-Wine festival. At this edition, Italian companies will present a diverse and innovative selection of products, from wines to fish, seafood and vegetable products in oil or vacuum-packed, from extra virgin olive oils to snacks and pasta, from cheeses to coffee and corn flour, both conventional and organic products.  All in a journey from the north to the south of Italy passing through 12 of the 20 Italian regions: Abruzzo, Puglia, Campania, Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Lombardy, Marche, Piedmont, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany, Trentino Alto-Adige, Veneto”, says Micaela Soldini, director of ICE Italian Foreign Trade Agency Bucharest.

This weekend, from 24 to 26 May 2024, ICE – the Italian Foreign Trade Agency, will organise the third edition of the Taste of Italy fair, as part of the RO-Wine international festival, with a selection of Italian flavours and exceptional wines from various renowned regions, from top producers. As always, this year’s edition of Ro-Wine will take place in the Fratelli Studio in Bucharest. As a novelty, at this edition, ICE Agency Bucharest will organize a Masterclass entitled “How to recognize a quality olive oil”, held by Edoardo Nati, expert of Unaprol, the Italian Olive Oil Growers Consortium which gathers more than 100,000 companies and specialists in the olive oil sector and trainer at Evoschool Foundation (training, promotion and cultural valorisation centre of extra virgin olive oil).

ICE – Italian Foreign Trade Agency – is the Italian government agency that supports the promotion, facilitation and development of trade between Italy and the rest of the world, supporting the internationalisation of Italian companies, particularly small and medium-sized ones, and the implementation of their activities in foreign markets, while promoting the attraction of foreign investment in Italy. The Agency, established in 1926, has its headquarters in Rome, a regional office in Milan and an external network of 87 operational structures in 74 countries. In Romania, it is accredited as the Exchange Promotion Section of the Italian Embassy and works in close synergy with it.

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Aurel Constantin | 06/06/2024 | 16:28
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