Italy’s cereal-import costs jumped 31 percent in January as the European Union’s third-largest grain buyer more than doubled corn purchases, industry group Associazione Nazionale Cerealisti said.
Grain and cereal-product imports rose to 910,878 metric tons from 753,868 tons a year earlier, Rome-based Anacer, as the organization is known, wrote in an e-mailed report today. The cost of shipments climbed to 292.4 million euros ($384 million) from 222.5 million euros.
Spain and the Netherlands are the only countries in the 27- nation EU that import more grain than Italy, trade figures from the bloc show. The Italian corn harvest was hurt last year by summer heat that scorched 30 percent of the crop, according to farming union Coldiretti.
Corn shipments into Italy increased to 403,975 tons in January from 194,771 tons a year earlier, lifting import costs for the grain to 109.2 million euros from 51.1 million euros, Anacer wrote.
Soft-wheat imports fell to 263,114 tons from 268,283 tons, while the cost jumped to 73 million euros from 59.3 million euros. Buying of durum wheat, the hard variety used to make pasta, slid to 31,062 tons from 81,464 tons and the import bill dropped to 11.2 million euros from 26.5 million euros.
Including spending on oilseed and protein-crop products, import costs climbed to 463.3 million euros in January from 345 million euros a year earlier, according to Anacer.
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