The demand for pasta in nearly the whole world is increasing gradually. According to the data of International Pasta Organization (IPO), a total of 14,3 million tons of pasta produced in 2015 in the world. Pasta being an easy-to-prepare and cost-efficient meal had a great effect on this. Other important factors in the increase of consumption are the high nutritional value of the durum wheat in the pasta and the fact that pasta can be prepared with various sauces so that it would be appropriate to the taste of almost every culture.
Pasta dough is created by mixing the semolina obtained from durum wheat with some enriching substances and water. Pasta production is carried out by shaping this dough and then drying. The fact that the durum wheat, the main raw material of pasta, grows only in certain areas of the world limited the production areas of the pasta. Although pasta production became common due to the raw material import today, in general countries producing durum wheat are the leading pasta exporters in the world.
Pasta is one of the most important foods in the world with regard to both its nutritional value and volume of production. Pasta which could be consumed in different ways in each culture faces a demand which has been increasing over the years. Long shelf life, high nutritional value, being appropriate for serving by mixing it with different sauces for different palates, being adaptable to every culture and more importantly being an economic food are the leading causes of this increase.
The date this valuable food item was first consumed is not known. Although Chinese, Etruscans, Arabs, Persians, Greek and even Americans claim that it is them who have invented pasta, Italians were the ones left with holding that title. For pasta, some dates it back to 4000, some to 7000 and some to 8000 years ago. Pasta was definitely known by Ancient Greek and Romans. The history of the pasta goes back to the time of Ancient Romans. Italy is the leader in both production and consumption of pasta today. Pasta which spread quickly to the other countries in the world started to be a part of the American kitchen as well, through the immigration of Italians to the American continent.
Pasta production stopped being dependent on the climate after some technological developments. So, the production which could previously be done only in the areas where wheat was produced, has now spread to different geographies. Since 1945, the year when World War II ended, the pasta factories were started to be established in the regions in which Italians lived mainly and by this way, pasta was introduced to the foreign cultures more closely. The automatic non-stop pasta facilities, which were invented by Mario and Guiseppe Braibanti Company in 1933, were among the elements that had a role in the industrialization of pasta production.
The development of pasta production technologies has an important effect on the increase of pasta production and consumption in the world. According to the data of International Pasta Organization (IPO), a total of 14,3 million tons of pasta produced in 2015 in the world. The majority of the world’s pasta production is carried out by Italy, USA, Brazil, Russia, and Turkey. When we have a look at the production amounts of these countries, we see that Italy leads with 3,246 million tons in 2015. Italy, the top pasta producer in the world, is followed by the USA with 2 million tons. Turkey, which has the third place, carried out 1,315 million tons of pasta production. Brazil is followed by Turkey with 1,204 million tons. Russia has the 5th place in the world pasta production with 1,083 million tons.
Countries such as Italy, USA, and Turkey produce pasta for export purposes as well as domestic consumption. However, the other countries carry out production in order to meet their domestic demand. The great extent of world pasta production is carried out in the European Union. The leading producing countries are Italy, Germany, and Spain in the European Union which has a share of 34.4 per cent in production. Production share of the non-EU European countries is 17 per cent. In this situation, European continent meets more than half of world pasta production with a ratio of 51.4 per cent. The second continent in pasta production is America. In America continent which meets 38 per cent of world pasta production, Middle and South America have 21.7 per cent and North America has 14.9 per cent. While 4.1 per cent of the production is being carried out in the Middle East, 5.8 per cent of the production is being carried out in Africa continent. The share of the Asia continent in world pasta production is 1.7 per cent and Australia’s share is 0.4 per cent. The Middle East, Asia, and Australia which have a small share in the production have a great potential for consumption. Thus they are being evaluated as promising markets.
WORLD PASTA CONSUMPTION AND DEMAND
The demand for pasta in nearly the whole world is increasing gradually. As we have stated above, the fact that pasta being an easy-to-prepare and cost-efficient meal; also high nutritional value of the durum wheat in the pasta and the fact that pasta being a food which can be prepared with various sauces so it would be appropriate to palates of almost every culture have an effect on this.
According to the 2015 data of International Pasta Organization (IPO) the country in which the pasta consumption is at its peak is the production leader Italy. Pasta consumption per capita in Italy is 23.5 kg. It is followed by Tunisia with 16.0 kg, by Venezuela with 12,0 kg, Greece with 11,2 kg and Switzerland with 9,2 kg. The pasta consumption per capita in Turkey is 7.5 kg while it is 5.9 kg in the European countries. Among the main reasons why pasta consumption has not increased in Turkey, we can count the fact that sauce culture is not yet established, having missing or wrong information about how to cook, lack of product variety and not realizing the nutritional values of the pasta yet. In addition to these, the amount of noodle produced in homes and then consumed is not included in the records and this also affects the amount of official consumption.
When we have a look at the total pasta production by countries, we see that the top consumer country is the USA with 2 million 700 thousand tons. The USA is followed Italy with 1,507 million tons and Brazil with 1,151 million tons and Russia with 1,151 million tons and Germany with 654 thousand tons. The 2015 consumption of Turkey was 516,107tons.
WORLD PASTA IMPORT
According to World Trade Atlas, Global Trade Information Service data, the total value of the world pasta import was 3,380 million Euros in 2011 and this value corresponds to 3,250 million tons of pasta import. Global pasta import was 3,083 million tons which correspond to 3,696 million Euros in 2012. And as for 2013, the world pasta import was recorded as 3,178 million tons and this equals to 3,740 million Euros.
It is seen that the USA, Germany, and French have the leading positions in 2012 world pasta import. The USA with its 479 million Euro and 358 thousand tons of pasta import is followed by Germany with its 479 million Euro and 424 thousand tons. While Germany is better in terms of quantity, USA was at the top in terms of market value. The 2013 pasta import of France is 344 thousand tons. USA and Germany were closely followed by France which reached to an import value of 397 million Euros. France followed by Japan with 174 thousand tons and 235 million Euros, England with 171 thousand tons and 219 million Euros, and Canada with 120 thousand tons and 162 million Euros.
Durum wheat, which is the main raw material of pasta, is produced only in certain areas of the world and the dependency to durum wheat increases year by year. This situation causes the countries which have a large pasta consumption level but still not able to produce enough pasta to meet the domestic demand to prefer importing. Along with this, some of the pasta producing countries also prefer importing in an attempt to increase the variety.
WORLD PASTA EXPORT
Global pasta exports have reached to a volume of 8,3 billion dollars. The most important player in the world’s pasta market is Italy with a market share of 31,8%. However, the rivalry in the international markets that basically occurs upon price/quality criterion, give a chance to other exporter countries to be successful on a country basis. It is possible to talk about a general increase in the global pasta export for the last 15-year-period. This increase, in fact, originates from the growing market and the countries that make export-oriented production giving support to the local industrialists for the export of similar products. Italy, China, Turkey, and Thailand are among the top exporters of pasta products.
According to the data of World Trade Atlas, pasta export was 3,556 million tons in 2011. The price equivalence of this quantity is 3,382 million Euros. World pasta export which was increased in 2012, was 3,720 million tons and it was equal to 4,162 million Euros. In 2013, there was an increase in the export again and it was recorded as 4,084 million tons. The equivalent value in the 2013 pasta export quantity is 4,382 million Euros. Taking the reported data as reference causes different figures to be reflected for world pasta import and exports. Therefore the real numbers are estimated to be a little higher than these figures.
Italy ranks first in pasta export. Italy exported a total of 1,770 million tons of pasta in 2011. The price equivalence of this quantity is 1,813 million Euros. Italy, which is the leading pasta exporter, experienced some increase in 2011 and exported a total of 1,803 million tons of pasta. This export that corresponds to 1,939 million Euros continued to increase in 2013, too. The pasta export of Italy in 2013 was 1,901 million tons and its value was 2,014 million Euros.
The most successful exporter after Italy is Turkey. Turkey’s pasta export quantity, which is far behind the amount exported by Italy, was increased by approximately 200 thousand tons between the years of 2010 and 2012. The amount of the export which was 436 thousand tons in 2012, has an equivalence of value about 241 million Euros. In 2013, these figures are 643 thousand tons/349 million Euros. Turkey is followed by the USA with an export amount of 138 thousand tons, by Belgium with 128 thousand tons and by China with 105 thousand tons.