Competitiveness of Italian small pelagics in international trade

Competitiveness of Italian small pelagics in international trade

New Medit, vol 11, n.1, (March 2012), pp. 41-51


Language: EN
Jel classification: Q17, F14, Q22


Export competitiveness is an important factor to ensure economic sustainability of sectors subject to stagnant demand and strong competition in the domestic market, as Italian fisheries. Actually, Italy is a major player in international trade of small pelagic species, and it is the world’s leading country in the export of fresh anchovies. However, both the Italian net trade balance and the export-to-import terms of trade are unfavourable. The objective of this study is to analyse Italy’s international trade of small pelagics to point out the main weaknesses of the sector and suggest possible improvement strategies for the involved stakeholders, i.e. public policy makers and private firms. As a first step, the dynamics and composition of import and export flows is examined with regard to the world market, as well as with other EU Countries, highlighting the distinctive features of the coastal regions on the Adriatic sea. As a second step, the competitive position of Italian exports is assessed with respect to other three important producing countries in the Mediterranean Region, namely Spain, France and Morocco, calculating their Relative Export Advantage. Finally, a Constant Market Share analysis is conducted specifically on anchovies exports towards Spain, that is by far the most important destination market, with over 40% of total anchovy export value. The CMSA has been used for the specific study case of the anchovy trade towards Spain.


small pelagics, competitiveness, international trade, revealed comparative advantage, market shares

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