What are Italy's major exports and imports?


Quick Answer

Italy's top five export categories are refined petroleum, packaged medicaments, vehicle parts, cars and gold. The country's top five import categories are crude petroleum, petroleum gas, refined petroleum, cars and packaged medicaments.

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Full Answer

Agriculture is a major component of Italy's exports sector. It is the world's leading exporter of tanned equine and bovine hides, pasta, preserved meats, animal hair fabric and processed tomatoes. Olive oil is also a major export, though there are widespread concerns about it being adulterated.

Despite a relatively high volume of exports of refined petroleum, Italy is poor in natural resources outside of its natural gas reserves. The majority of the country's energy reserves and raw materials for manufacturing have to be imported.

Italy has a strong automotive industry that does a significant business in exports, particularly for high-end sports and luxury cars. Some notable Italian automotive brands are Ferrari, Lamborghini, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Maserati.

Italy both imports and exports packaged medicines such as antibiotics, penicillin and streptomycin as well as hormones and insulin. Other significant exports for Italy include leather footwear, jewelry and wine, most notably the Pinot Grigio and Chianti varieties. Other major imports include gold, computers, vehicle parts and refined copper. Italy primarily exports to Germany, France, the United States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The country primarily imports from Germany, France, China, the Netherlands and Russia.

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