Wed, 03 Mar 2021

ROME, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Italian exports to non-European Union (EU) markets dropped by 9.9 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year, the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) said on Wednesday.

It was the deepest fall registered since 2009, largely linked to the containment measures called at global level to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The drop occurred despite sales to non-EU markets showing "a quick recovery starting from May" after the collapse in March and April (when Italy entered a full national lockdown), the agency noted.

"The contraction... is explained for more than 6 percentage points by the drop in sales of capital goods and non-durable consumer goods," ISTAT wrote in its bulletin.

However, the agency added, the decrease was less pronounced in the annual sales to China (minus 0.6 percent), Switzerland (minus 2.9 percent), the United States (minus 6.7 percent), and Japan (minus 7.6 percent).

On the contrary, the deepest decline was registered in annual sales to India (minus 23.9 percent), ASEAN countries (minus 16.1 percent), and OPEC countries (minus 15.8 percent).

As for imports from extra European markets, they fell by 15.3 percent in 2020 against 2019, due "for over two-third to the collapse in purchases of energy products."

Exports data on the final part of the year showed better results. Sales to non-EU countries rose by 3.1 percent in December compared to the same month in 2019, and by 4 percent in October-December against the same quarter of 2019.

In December, Italians sales to the Chinese market rose by 18.3 compared to the same month in 2019, the highest increase among all non-EU markets, showed the data.

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