Germany surpasses Italy in trade with Med region

SRM study shows Italian trade fell by 4.3% in 2013

22 November, 17:53

    The Moroccan port of Tanger Med The Moroccan port of Tanger Med

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES - Italy will lose its leadership among EU countries in terms of trade with Mediterranean area countries to Germany at the end of 2013, according to the ''Economic Relations between Italy and the Mediterranean Area'' report presented Friday in Naples. The report was published by the Studi e Ricerche per il Mezzogiorno (SRM) economic studies and research center, whose main partners include the Intesa-San Paolo group and Banco di Napoli. The date show that in 2012 (the last year for which official date are available) Italy was the top EU country for overall trade with the Mediterranean area at 61 billion euros, but in the first six months of 2013 Germany surpassed it through 7.4% growth. Italian trade to the area fell by 4.3% in the same period. At the end of 2013, SRM estimates say Italy will slide to 58.3 billion euros in trade with Med countries, while Germany will rise to 61.2 billion and the United States to 68.9 billion.
    The area nevertheless remains an important trade partner for Italy and accounts for 7.7% of total foreign trade in 2013, compared with 6.2% in 2001. The estimates in the SRM report reflect the substantial drop in imports seen in the first six months of 2013 (-10.8%), compared with a slight growth in exports towards the area (+3.9%). The report also notes that a large part of trade depends on the energy component, which accounts for about 44%, while for Germany, France and the US the figures are instead 15% and 23%.
    Excluding energy, therefore, in 2013 Italy is in third place among EU partners of southern Mediterranean countries, with an approximately 20-billion-euro gap between its trade in the manufacturing sector and Germany's. ''The figure,'' said SRM director Massimo Deandreis, ''gives us an idea of the market potential currently covered by German manufacturing that our country could gradually recover if a more active and positive strategy is applied towards these countries.'' However, the report also underscores that International Monetary Fund growth outlooks for Italy and its competitors (+1.4% in 2014 for Italy, +6.7% for Germany) may lead to Italy slide to fourth place among the main trade partners of the Mediterranean area in 2015, surpassed by China as well. The SRM report notes that southern Italy is losing less in trade than the national average: according to the SRM figures, in 2013 southern Italy will rack up 14.7 billion in trade with the Mediterranean area and is second only to the north-western area of the country, at 19 billion. (ANSAmed).

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