testata inforMARE

25 September 2022 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 06:26 GMT+2

September 7, 2022

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Federagenti, Italian ports and backports are inadequate to accommodate the expected increase in cereal imports

Saints: The risk of supply chain stress could become concrete

In Italy, due to the combined effect of drought and scarcity of water, in the next 12 months we could expect a request of imports by sea of a quantity of corn exceeding three million tons. A forecast, this one of the Federagenti, that - if it were not for the drought - could be included between the less and less frequent "good news" given the "hunger" of cereals that characterizes in this period most of the markets world, including Italy, and that is consequence - has specified the federation of Italian maritime agents - of the effects of the climate crisis on world agricultural production aggravated by the repercussions of the war in Ukraine.

So much so - according to the president of Federagenti, Alessandro Saints - it is a perspective that can highlight criticality: "here - he explained - the serious troubles begin: with a pressure on ports of more than 30% compared to the average in recent years (on average around 10 million tons of bulk agri-food products in import), and definitively archived the theses of autarchy and agricultural self-sufficiency that would push the country towards hunger and closure of the agri-food industry today driving its exports - has warned Saints - the risk of stress of the logistics chain it could become concrete"."

Santi clarified that corn today, in the expected volumes, has not in Italy enough space and docks to withstand the impact: drafts necessary for ships that can see cut off ports in waiting for dredging for years, port storage areas and not enough backports, for inertia of various kinds, and finally internal logistics (truck and train) in great suffering in the post pandemic, as found in all ports and backports of the world for the scarcity of primarily human resources and the high fuel costs. This - Santi denounced - despite the appeals of Federagenti so that the chains of Italian supply were made solid, performing, environmentally sustainable and ready for the necessary diversification to defend the strategic and international political choices of the country.

"And paradoxically - observed Santi - this it happens when we see strong uncertainties in Northern European logistics efficiency, due to the sharp drop in level of the rivers and canals that make up the river network Central European. Moment in which - concluded the president of Federagenti - these phenomena bring the Mediterranean back to the center, relaunching the northern Adriatic ports and proposing them, to agri-food and other industrial raw materials, as a platform maritime reference for Austria and southern Germany, eroding the share of the port of Northern Europe'.

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