Italy’s Top 10 Imports

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Italy imported US$452.2 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2017, down by -5.7% since 2013 but up by 11.8% from 2016 to 2017.

Italian imports represent 2.8% of overall global imports which totaled $16.054 trillion one year earlier in 2016.

From a continental perspective, a little over two-thirds (67.8%) of Italy’s total imports by value in 2017 were purchased from other European countries. Asian trade partners accounted for 20.6% of imports purchased by Italy while 4.6% worth originated from exporters in Africa. At 4.4%, a slightly smaller percentage came from North America trailed by 2.3% from Latin America (excluding Mexico) plus the Caribbean.

Given Italy’s population of 62.1 million people, its total $452.2 billion in 2017 imports translates to roughly $7,300 in yearly product demand from every person in the country.

Italy’s Top 10 Imports

Top 10

The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Italy’s import purchases during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Italy.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$54.2 billion (12% of total imports)
  2. Vehicles: $48.5 billion (10.7%)
  3. Machinery including computers: $44.3 billion (9.8%)
  4. Electrical machinery, equipment: $34.6 billion (7.6%)
  5. Pharmaceuticals: $23.2 billion (5.1%)
  6. Plastics, plastic articles: $20.5 billion (4.5%)
  7. Iron, steel: $19 billion (4.2%)
  8. Organic chemicals: $14.3 billion (3.2%)
  9. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $12.3 billion (2.7%)
  10. Gems, precious metals: $10.2 billion (2.2%)

Italy’s top 10 imports represent 62.2% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.

Fastest-growing among Italy’s top 10 import categories was iron and steel via a 32.5% year-over-year increase.

In second place was the 30.4% gain for imported mineral fuels including oil, followed by Italian imports of vehicles up 11.7%. Imported plastics appreciated 11.6%.

The slowest-growing top import category was organic chemicals via its 0.9% uptick.

Please note that the results listed above are at the 2-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level. Information presented under other virtual folder tabs is at the more granular 4-digit level.

Fuel

In 2017, Italian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products:

  1. Crude oil: US$26.1 billion (up 38.3% from 2016)
  2. Petroleum gases: $15.6 billion (up 26.2%)
  3. Processed petroleum oils: $7.7 billion (up 22.2%)
  4. Electrical energy: $2.4 billion (up 25.9%)
  5. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $1.8 billion (up 37.5%)
  6. Petroleum oil residues: $151.4 million (up 28.2%)
  7. Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $149.1 million (up 51.6%)
  8. Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $78.5 million (down -12.8%)
  9. Peat: $70.3 million (up 7.2%)
  10. Coke, semi-coke: $11.1 million (down -38.7%)

Among these import subcategories, Italy’s purchases of high-temperature distilled coal tar oil (up 51.6%), crude oil (up 38.3%) and coal including solid fuels made from coal (up 37.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of mineral fuels-related imports among Italian businesses and consumers.

Vehicles

In 2017, Italian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles:

  1. Cars: US$31.1 billion (up 13.2% from 2016)
  2. Automobile parts/accessories: $8.5 billion (up 8.8%)
  3. Trucks: $3.3 billion (up 8%)
  4. Tractors: $1.6 billion (up 0.9%)
  5. Motorcycles: $1.1 billion (up 28%)
  6. Motorcycle parts/accessories: $859.1 million (up 10.4%)
  7. Trailers: $635.2 million (up 7.7%)
  8. Public-transport vehicles: $603 million (up 11%)
  9. Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $171.2 million (up 15.6%)
  10. Automobile bodies: $133.1 million (up 3.7%)

Among these import subcategories, Italy’s purchases of motorcycles (up 28%), bicycles plus other non-motorized cycles (up 15.6%) and cars (up 13.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported vehicles among Italian businesses and consumers.

Machinery

In 2017, Italian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers:

  1. Computers, optical readers: US$5 billion (up 8.3% from 2016)
  2. Piston engine parts: $2.2 billion (up 11.9%)
  3. Printing machinery: $2.2 billion (up 1.6%)
  4. Turbo-jets: $2.1 billion (down -0.5%)
  5. Taps, valves, similar appliances: $2 billion (up 2.8%)
  6. Air or vacuum pumps: $1.9 billion (up 6.4%)
  7. Engines (diesel): $1.7 billion (up 25%)
  8. Liquid pumps and elevators: $1.7 billion (up 11.9%)
  9. Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $1.6 billion (up 13.7%)
  10. Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $1.5 billion (up 8.8%)

Among these import subcategories, Italy’s purchases of diesel engines (up 25%), transmission shafts, gears or clutches (up 13.7%) and piston engine parts (up 11.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported machinery among Italian businesses and consumers.

Electronics

In 2017, Italian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics:

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: US$8.5 billion (up 11.5% from 2016)
  2. Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $2.1 billion (up 9.4%)
  3. Insulated wire/cable: $2 billion (up 15.8%)
  4. TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $1.9 billion (up 5.8%)
  5. Electrical converters/power units: $1.7 billion (up 12.1%)
  6. Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $1.6 billion (up 8.2%)
  7. Electric motors, generators: $1.6 billion (up 9.5%)
  8. Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $1.5 billion (up 15.2%)
  9. Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches: $1.2 billion (up 9.9%)
  10. Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $1 billion (up 6.8%)

Among these import subcategories, Italy’s purchases of insulated wire or cable (up 15.8%), integrated circuits and microassemblies (up 15.2%) and electrical converters or power units (up 12.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2016 to 2017.

These amounts and the percentage gains within parenthesis clearly show where the strongest demand lies for different types of imported electronics among Italian businesses and consumers.



 
See also Italy’s Top Trading Partners, Highest Value Italian Import Products, Highest Value Italian Export Products, Italy’s Top 10 Major Export Companies and Italy’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 22, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 22, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 22, 2018