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Pasta is a cuisine produced from an unleavened dough of wheat flour mixed with water or eggs, shaped into sheets or various shapes, and then boiled or baked. Pasta is a traditional Italian dish.

Cooked plain pasta contains 31% carbs (mainly starch), 6% protein, and is low in fat, with considerable quantities of manganese, but pasta generally has a poor micronutrient content.

Pasta is a nutritious food product made from a mixture of hard durum wheat semolina and other enriching ingredients, shaped and dried, with high demand in international trade.

As a result, the need for pasta, the second most essential food after bread among industrial items made from wheat in terms of manufacturing volume and nutritional relevance, has risen steadily over time. 

Pasta exports from all countries totaled US$11.9 billion in 2020, an increase of 37% for all pasta shippers over the five years beginning in 2016. In addition, the value of worldwide exported pasta increased by 14.6 percent from 2019 to 2020.

Italy, China, and South Korea placed first and second, respectively, in pasta exports. First, look at the top ten countries that export the most pasta.

1. Italy

Pasta has always had a worldwide flavor because its origins aren’t exclusively Italian, which is understandable given that it can be produced with only wheat and water.

While some historians say pasta originated in Italy, most believe it was brought back by Marco Polo from his epic journey to China.

Rice flour was used to make the first pasta, famous in the east. The pasta was traditionally produced from hard wheat and fashioned into long strands in Italy. Italy topped the list with $3.6 billion by exporting pasta.

Exports In 2019, Italy exported $3.02 billion worth of pasta, making it the world’s top exporter. In addition, Pasta was Italy’s 34th most exported commodity in the same year.

Germany ($453 million), France ($428 million), the United States ($391 million), the United Kingdom ($376 million), and Spain ($135 million) are the top destinations for Italian pasta exports. Italy is the fastest-growing export market for pasta.

2. China

China ranked second by exporting $980.2 million pasta in 2021.

China exported 929.87 million dollars of pasta in 2019, up 0.70 percent from 923.43 million dollars in 2018, making it the world’s second-largest exporter. Between 2017 and 2018, the value of China’s Pasta increased by 6.675 percent annually.

The Pasta was China’s 374th most exported product in the same year. Hong Kong ($177 million), the United States ($116 million), South Korea ($103 million), Japan ($75.6 million), and Canada ($47.6 million) are the top destinations for Chinese pasta exports.

From 2018 to 2019, the fastest-growing export markets for Chinese Pasta were Canada ($11.6 million), the United Kingdom ($6 million), and Russia ($4.62 million).

3. South Korea 

South Korea is in the third position with $792.3 million in exporting pasta. It is one of the leading exporters of pasta in the world.

The export value of South Korean Pasta, whether cooked or stuffed, was over 792.26 million dollars in 2020, up from around 290.26 million dollars in 2011.

Pasta exports increased by 18.41% between 2017 and 2019, netting South Korea US$612.14 million in 2019. South Korea exported 612.14 million dollars of pasta in 2019, up 10.10 percent from 555.994 million dollars in 2018.

Between 2017 and 2018, the value of South Korean Pasta increased by 8.067 percent. Between 2017 and 2019, the annual change in the quantity of South Korean pasta exports was 18.41%, compared to a variation of 12.933 percent between 2018 and 2019.

In 2019, South Korea had a 1.5 percent share of global total pasta exports. In terms of pasta exports, the country is rated ninth globally.

4. Turkey

Turkey’s export value of pasta was $761.3 million in 2021, which brought it in fourth place.

The Turkish pasta business, worth $1 billion, has 24 producers. Turkey’s production and exports play a significant role in the domestic pasta industry, which is increasing at a rapid pace.

Pasta producers who work near raw material sources employ 40,000 people directly and indirectly. Despite discriminatory trade quotas imposed by EU members, Turkey placed second in exports behind Italy.

Pasta, which has become a popular product outside the home, has seen increased domestic consumption in recent years.

Turkey improved from 18th to 8th rank in terms of consumption. The average person consumes 8 kg of sugar each year.

Turkey, which ranked 5th in world pasta production in 2010, with a 606 thousand-ton production quantity and a 5% production share, saw considerable growth in production in 2013, increasing its output to 1 million tons and increasing its production share 7,4 percent.

Despite the increase in production, Turkey’s position as the world’s leading pasta producer has remained unchanged. While the most prominent producers, Italy, the United States, and Turkey, continue to focus their production on export, the rest of the world produces pasta only for home use.

Turkey’s annual export volume to European Union countries is capped at 20,000 tons. Italian enterprises dominate the European market as a result of this 20-ton quota.

When sales to the European Union are excluded, Turkey is the world market leader in pasta exports, surpassing Italy.

5. Thailand

Thailand exported $595.5 million pasta in 2021, bringing it in fifth place. Thailand’s stuffed pasta and couscous exports climbed by $595.5 million in 2021, marking the sixth consecutive year of growth.

Overall, exports continue to grow at a rapid pace. The year with the highest growth rate was 2008 when exports climbed year over year. Exports were peak in 2020 and are expected to expand gradually in the years ahead. 

According to the United Nations database on international commerce, Thailand exported US$9.84 thousand worth of pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, noodle, lasagna) and couscous to Honduras in 2020. Honduras imports Thai Pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, noodle, lasagna) and couscous.

6. United States of America

The USA exported $375.1 million pasta in 2021 and listed sixth in position.

In 2019, the United States exported $353 million worth of pasta, making it the sixth-largest exporter. In addition, pasta was the 438th most shipped product in the United States in the same year.

Canada ($246 million), Japan ($25.8 million), Mexico ($13.9 million), the Bahamas ($6.12 million), and Jamaica ($6.09 million) are the top destinations for US pasta exports.

From 2018 to 2019, the fastest-growing export markets for US pasta were Canada ($4.41 million), Jamaica ($2.16 million), and Mexico ($2.01 million).

7. Vietnam

with only $352 million, Vietnam is seventh in exporting pasta.

Whether cooked or filled, pasta accounted for 0.125 percent of Vietnam’s total exports. Vietnam sold 121,410 tonnes of pasta in 2019.

Compared to the previous year, demand for Vietnam pasta (processed category) climbed by 16.15 percent in 2019. Pasta exports increased by 28.98 percent between 2017 and 2019, bringing in US$283.08 million for the year.

Between 2017 and 2019, the annual/yearly variance in Vietnamese pasta exports was 28.98 percent, compared to 16.15 percent between 2018 and 2019.

In 2019, Vietnam’s share of total pasta exports globally was less than 1%. As a result, the country is ranked 25th globally in terms of pasta exports.

8. Germany

Germany exported $333.3 million pasta in 2021.

In the year 2020, Germany sold 150,729 tonnes of pasta. Germany exported 137,059 tonnes of pasta in 2019. Compared to the previous year, the market for German pasta (processed category) climbed by 2.721 percent in 2019.

Pasta exports increased by 12.01 percent between 2017 and 2019, bringing in US$291.44 million for Germany in 2019. Germany sold 291.44 million dollars worth of pasta in 2019, up 0.84 percent over 2018’s total pasta export of 289.01 million dollars. Between 2017 and 2018, the value of German pasta increased by 15.56 percent.

Between 2017 and 2019, the yearly fluctuation in the volume of German pasta exports was 12.01 percent, compared to a growth rate variation of 2.721 percent between 2018 and 2019.

In 2019, Germany’s share of total pasta exports globally was less than 1%. In terms of pasta exports, the country is ranked 20th globally.

9. Indonesia

Indonesia is ninth in position by exporting $325.6 million pasta in 2021.

Indonesian merchandise exports totaled $ 163 billion in 2020, accounting for 0.199 percent of the country’s total exports. In comparison to 2019, the contribution of commodity group 1902 in overall Indonesian exports increased by 0.038 percentage points (it was 0.16 percent in 2019, and total Indonesian exports were $ 167 billion).

Indonesia exported 162,791 tonnes of pasta in 2019. In 2019, interest in Indonesia’s pasta (processed category) had fallen by -2.184 percent compared to the previous year.

Pasta exports increased by 17.14 percent between 2017 and 2019, bringing in US$269.23 million for the year. Between 2017 and 2018, the value of Indonesian pasta increased by 12.717 percent each year.

The annual/yearly fluctuation in Indonesia’s pasta exports volume was 17.14 percent between 2017 and 2019, compared to a growth rate variation of -2.184 percent between 2018 and 2019. In 2019, Indonesian pasta exports accounted for less than 1% of global totals. As a result, in terms of pasta exports, the country is rated 30th globally.

10. Belgium

Belgium earned $276.8 million by exporting pasta in 2021.

Exports of packed Pasta and couscous grew by X percent to X tonnes in 2020, following a two-year drop. Exports exhibited a relatively flat trend pattern for the period under consideration.

When exports climbed by X percent year over year in 2010, the growth rate seemed to be the fastest. As a result, exports reached an all-time high of X tonnes. Growth exports failed to regain speed from 2011 to 2020.

Exports, on the whole, continue to show a very flat trend pattern. The year with the highest growth rate was 2008 when exports climbed by X% over the previous year. Exports peaked in 2011 at $X, then fell to a lower level between 2012 and 2020. 

Epilogue

The global consumption of pasta, and consequently the demand for pasta, is steadily increasing. The fact that wheat is a staple grain and the features of pasta, such as its high nutritional value, ease of preparation, low cost, and ability to be kept for a long time, are the fundamental causes for the increase.

As a result, pasta production increased from 9.3 million tons and roughly 13.5 million tons in 2013. 

Pasta’s ability to be stored for an extended amount of time without deterioration, consumed in various types and shapes, and made quickly and efficiently is thought to impact this increase substantially.

However, due to the reliance on pasta, some nations become exporters, and others become importers despite rising output and demand.

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