From February to July 2012, imports in the Italian cereal and grain sector found themselves in the middle of a severe crisis with a drop of some 2 billion tonnes compared to the same period of the previous year (-16.7%). The decline in imports impacted virtually all of the most important cereal and grain products, in particular corn, durum, soft wheat and barley. Imports from foreign countries of different types of flour, including the seed and fruit varieties, also showed signs of the looming turmoil. The total volume of rice imports decreased by a dramatic10.2%.
Shifting attention to the crisis on the export end of the sector, products from the cereal and grain segment in the first eight months of the year contracted by 10.7%. The dip affected grain exports, as well as those of processed products. Pasta and other cereal based food products, on the other hand, posted increases.
The financial value of the movements in the cereal and grain sector brought the toll of the crisis for the first half of the year to a 1.086 billion euro loss, in comparison to 1.57 billion euros in 2011.