Market analysis

Read our report on the dairy market in Italy. Discover the details of Italian dairy exports and see which types of cheeses are in high demand. Take a look at deliveries of dairy powders and key buyers in Europe and around the world. 

Throughout 2020, Italy exported 30.3% of its total milk deliveries in various dairy products, slightly less than in the previous year. The country held a 5.2% share of total EU dairy exports in milk equivalent in 2020.

 

Italian dairy production

In the first half of 2021, liquid milk production in Italy amounted to 1.254 million tonnes – a growth of 10.2% compared to the same period last year. At the same time, cream output has increased by 12.8% to 73,000 tonnes while butter production grew by 2.5% to 49,000 tonnes. Cheese output reached 596,000 tonnes – an increase of 6% compared to the first half of 2020. Between January and May 2021, Italy exported around 448,00 tonnes of dairy products – up by 6.3% compared to the same period last year. The main exported goods are cheese, whey, and FFMP. 

 

Export of Italian cheese

In the first five months of 2021, Italy shipped 201,000 tonnes of its cheese – up by 10.7% from the same period in 2020. France was the key buyer of the Italian cheese with orders for 44,277 tonnes of various product types constituting an almost 16% growth from the same period last year. The country was mainly interested in fresh cheeses, grated or powdered products, Grana Padano DOP, and Parmigiano Reggiano DOP. The second-largest buyer of Italian cheese was Germany with 31,528 tonnes purchased, mainly of fresh, grated, and powdered cheese as well as Grana Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Gorgonzola. The United States ranked third and purchased 13,936 tonnes of Italian cheese – up by 19.25% compared to the same period in 2020.

Other major buyers of the Italian product between January and May 2021 were the UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Spain – all of which increased their orders from last year except for the UK. The highest growth in orders was seen from Belgium and Sweden with purchases up by 22.18% and 27.64% respectively. 

 

Export of Italian whey 

The other main exported dairy product is whey powder, of which Italy shipped 152,000 tonnes in the first five months of 2021, down from 156,00 tonnes in the same period of 2020. The top buyer of the Italian whey at that time was the Netherlands, upping the orders by 27.63% to a total of 59,316 tonnes. Both France and Germany decreased their purchases of the Italian whey by 25.27% and 15.77% respectively, but remained key buyers, nevertheless. Poland, China, and Ethiopia all increased their orders by around 50% compared to the same period in 2020. Between January and May 2021, Taiwan doubled its orders for the Italian whey compared to the same period last year. 

 

Italian exports of FFMP

Italy delivered 28,000 tonnes of Fat-Filled Milk Powder between January and May 2021 – up by 11.1% from the same period last year. The top five buyers all increased their orders which include Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, and Germany. The highest growth in orders came from Poland, upping the purchases of the Italian FFMP from 476 tonnes in Jan-May 2020 to 1,294 tonnes in the same period this year. 

 

Italian imports

In terms of imports, Italy purchased 202,000 tonnes of cheese between January and May 2021, mainly of fresh cheeses from Germany. The country also ordered 258,000 tonnes of bulk milk – down by 36.4% from the same period last year. The main suppliers include Slovenia, Germany, Austria, and France. Italy purchased 114,000 tonnes of packed milk – 20.8% less than the year before. Key suppliers of this product were Austria, France, and Germany.