Italy’s top 10 imports represent 60.9% of the overall value of its product purchases from other countries.
Italian imports represent 2.5% of total global imports which totaled $16.473 trillion one year earlier in 2015.
From a continental perspective, 68% of Italy’s total imports by value in 2016 were purchased from other European countries. Asian trade partners supplied 20.1% of import purchases by Italy while 4.6% worth originated from exporters in Africa. At 4.5%, a slightly smaller percentage originated from North America.
Given Italy’s population of 62 million people, its total $404.6 billion in 2016 imports translates to roughly $6,500 in yearly product demand from every person in the country.
Italy’s Top 10 Imports
The following product groups represent the highest dollar value in Italy’s import purchases during 2016. Also shown is the percentage share each product category represents in terms of overall imports into Italy.
- Vehicles: US$43.5 billion (10.7% of total imports)
- Mineral fuels including oil: $41.5 billion (10.3%)
- Machinery including computers: $40.9 billion (10.1%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $31.3 billion (7.7%)
- Pharmaceuticals: $21.3 billion (5.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: $18.4 billion (4.5%)
- Iron, steel: $14.4 billion (3.6%)
- Organic chemicals: $14.2 billion (3.5%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: $11.3 billion (2.8%)
- Gems, precious metals: $9.6 billion (2.4%)
Fastest-growing among Italy’s top 10 import categories was gems and precious metals, thanks to increased purchases of jewelry and platinum.
In second place was the 20.9% gain for imported plastics, followed by Italian imports of pharmaceuticals up 14.2%. Imported machinery including computers appreciated 10.9%.
Only two top categories depreciated from 2009 to 2016. Italy’s imports of mineral fuels including oil were -43% lower while imported electrical machinery and equipment dropped by -5.5%.
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.
In 2016, Italian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of vehicles:
- Cars: US$27.5 billion (down -7.4%)
- Automobile parts/accessories: $7.8 billion (up 37.2%)
- Trucks: $3.1 billion (up 12.4%)
- Tractors: $1.6 billion (up 83.7%)
- Motorcycles: $857.6 million (down -23.8%)
- Motorcycle parts/accessories: $779.9 million (up 1.5%)
- Trailers: $589.3 million (up 92.8%)
- Public-transport vehicles: $540.9 million (up 41.0%)
- Bicycles, other non-motorized cycles: $148.4 million (up 30.6%)
- Automobile bodies: $128.5 million (up 34.5%)
Among these import subcategories, Italian purchases of trailers (up 92.8%), tractors (up 83.7%) and public-transport vehicles (up 41%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.
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.
In 2016, Italian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of mineral fuels-related products:
- Crude oil: US$18.9 billion (down -43.7%)
- Petroleum gases: $12.3 billion (down -51.2%)
- Processed petroleum oils: $6.3 billion (down -8.2%)
- Electrical energy: $1.9 billion (down -53.5%)
- Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $1.3 billion (down -46.7%)
- Petroleum oil residues: $117.9 million (down -57.3%)
- Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation): $98.2 million (down -48.9%)
- Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes: $90.4 million (up 22.3%)
- Peat: $65.7 million (down -12.7%)
- Coke, semi-coke: $18.1 million (up 95%)
Among these import subcategories, only two categories increased in value from 2009 to 2016: coke and semi-coke (up 95%) and petroleum jelly and mineral waxes (up 22.3%).
Petroleum oil residues led the decliners, down -57.3%.
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.
In 2016, Italian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of machines including computers:
- Computers, optical readers: US$4.6 billion (down -6.3%)
- Printing machinery: $2.2 billion (down -4.6%)
- Turbo-jets: $2.1 billion (up 23.8%)
- Piston engine parts: $2 billion (up 20.3%)
- Taps, valves, similar appliances: $1.9 billion (up 16.9%)
- Air or vacuum pumps: $1.8 billion (up 5.7%)
- Liquid pumps and elevators: $1.5 billion (up 11.6%)
- Transmission shafts, gears, clutches: $1.4 billion (up 24.2%)
- Miscellaneous machinery: $1.4 billion (up 45.4%)
- Centrifuges, filters and purifiers: $1.4 billion (up 31.4%)
Among these import subcategories, Italian purchases of miscellaneous machinery (up 45.4%), centrifuges, filters and purifiers (up 31.4%) and transmission shafts, gears and clutches (up 24.2%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.
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.
In 2016, Italian importers spent the most on the following 10 subcategories of electronic equipment including consumer electronics:
- Phone system devices including smartphones: US$7.6 billion (up 38.1%)
- Lower-voltage switches, fuses: $2 billion (up 22%)
- TV receivers/monitors/projectors: $1.8 billion (down -50.7%)
- Insulated wire/cable: $1.8 billion (up 47.3%)
- Electric water heaters, hair dryers: $1.5 billion (up 23.9%)
- Electrical converters/power units: $1.5 billion (up 9.6%)
- Electric motors, generators: $1.5 billion (up 19.9%)
- Integrated circuits/microassemblies: $1.3 billion (down -20.3%)
- Electric circuit parts, fuses, switches: $1.1 billion (up 32.6%)
- Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels: $945.7 million (up 86.1%)
Among these import subcategories, Italian purchases of electrical or optical circuit boards and panels (up 86.1%), insulated wire or cable (up 47.3%) and phone system devices including smartphones (up 38.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.
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
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on March 23, 2017
The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 23, 2017
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on March 23, 2017