Italy’s Foreign Trade with Non-EU Countries – August 2023

In September 2023, a conjunctural decrease is estimated for Italy’s trade with non-EU27 countries, with a more significant impact on exports (-6.9%) than imports (-2.1%).

The monthly contraction in exports is attributed to decreased sales of capital goods (-12.5%) and non-durable consumer goods (-9.3%). Conversely, there is an increase in exports of durable consumer goods (+6.5%) and energy (+2.5%), while intermediate goods remain nearly stable (+0.2%). On the import side, excluding energy (+8.5%), there are conjunctural reductions across all groups, with the most significant decreases seen in capital goods (-9.0%) and durable consumer goods (-8.7%).

In the third quarter of 2023, compared to the previous quarter, exports grew by 0.5%, driven by higher sales of energy (+19.5%) and capital goods (+1.5%). During the same period, imports recorded a 4.4% reduction, mainly due to a significant decrease in purchases of intermediate goods (-11.4%).

On an annual basis, in September 2023, exports contracted by 7.2% (compared to +8.9% in August). The decline is attributed to reduced sales of intermediate goods (-12.8%), non-durable consumer goods (-11.9%), and durable consumer goods (-7.5%). Imports experienced a substantial year-on-year contraction (-32.3%), widespread and more significant for energy (-49.7%) and intermediate goods (-26.2%).

In September 2023, Italy maintains a positive trade balance with non-EU27 countries, amounting to +€2.78 billion (-€5.43 billion in September 2022). The energy deficit (-€5.493 billion) is more than halved compared to a year earlier (-€12.096 billion), while the surplus in non-energy product exchange, at €8.273 billion, is high and increased from September 2022 (+€6.666 billion).

Annual export reductions are observed in September 2023 to almost all major non-EU27 trading partners, with the most significant declines seen with China (-14.0%), the United Kingdom (-13.2%), OPEC countries (-12.1%), and the United States (-11.9%). However, exports to MERCOSUR countries (+4.0%) and Japan (+2.2%) have increased.

Except for the United States (+14.4%), imports from all major non-EU27 trading partners show a substantial annual decline. Purchases from Russia witness the most significant year-on-year reduction (-86.2%), with notable decreases in imports from OPEC countries (-36.4%), ASEAN countries (-36.3%), and China (-34.4%).