Parma Ham has rounded off 2016 with a total production of 8,700,000 hams, up by 2.8% against 2015.
Whilst Italy is the largest market, accounting for around 68% of consumption, exports increased by around 1.2% notching up a total of 2,757,000 hams. This generated an estimated turnover of 280 million Euro, thereby reinforcing the excellent trend of long-term growth.
Despite the continuing reduction in meat consumption and cold cuts in Italy, 2016 was a positive year for Parma Ham. This is largely due to the restored balance between supply and demand, which has led to a marked reduction of goods in stock on the one hand and, on the other, a significant recovery of sale prices to the distribution sector.
Growth on international markets continues to be strong, despite some scarcity in product supplies and a rise in prices - a situation that primarily affects pre-packed trays of Parma Ham, which are more price sensitive and tend to be involved in promotions.
Indeed, this is the first time that pre-sliced Parma Ham has remained unchanged on the foreign market, thereby promoting exports of the whole pieces (both bone-in and boned), which have seen an increase in line with the performance of previous years.
We have set ourselves a very ambitious target – says Vittorio Capanna, President of the Consortium – which is to bring exports of Parma Ham up to the 3 million-mark in a short space of time.
Competition on the global market is certainly a very complex challenge to face and is probably not within the reach of all businesses, but as an industry we are stimulated by the excellent results achieved so far. We need only bear in mind that just ten years ago, we were exporting less than 2 million hams. All of this encourages us to persevere with the growth plan we have developed.
Both the Community market (61% of exports) and other Third markets have contributed equally to the increase recorded in 2016: up by 16,000 units in each area.
In terms of individual countries, the US market is continuing to grow (+7%), establishing itself as the main foreign market and importing 623,000 hams, followed by France (476,000, +4.7%) and Germany (468,000, +3%).
Ailing markets include Belgium, Canada, Japan and Russia, which, as we know, has stopped importing ham.
Emerging markets include China and, in particular, Brazil, where Parma Ham products have been given a high-profile launch by a number of distribution chains.
Pre-sliced Parma Ham
1,568,000 hams - or around 18% of the hams branded in 2016 - were sliced to produce a total of 79 million packs of pre-sliced Parma Ham.
24% of these were sold in Italy, with the remaining 76% going abroad to 76 different countries.
Sales of packs of Parma Ham in 2016 fell slightly by 0.9% compared to the previous year because of the dynamics of the Italian market; exports remained steady in spite of a highly dynamic market.
In the United Kingdom, a prime market now saturated with 1,877,000 packs sold, the task is to defend the leadership position from fierce competition.
Meanwhile, Germany is a driving force for European exports: above and beyond the year’s performance (+7%), it is also displaying a considerable growth trend, with an increase over the last 5 years of 75,000 pre-sliced hams.
Over the medium-term, France and the USA are also doing well, with encouraging signs elsewhere, including Brazil and the Czech Republic.