Rome

Italy's food industry feeling the heat

Sector output down 1.5% in July after summer of low rainfall

Italy's food industry feeling the heat

(ANSA) - Rome, September 12 - Italy's food sector, one of the mainstays of the country's economy, is feeling the effects of low rainfall that has hit harvests during a long hot summer. The Italian food industry's output fell 1.5% in July compared to the same month in 2011, national statistics agency Istat said on Wednesday. Farmers' association Coldiretti said that the trend is likely to continue in the coming months because the industry is expected to encounter problems finding raw materials. It said the heat has reduced the harvests of corn, tomatoes and soya by 30%, 35% and 40% respectively, while pears are 22% down and apples are 13% down. Coldiretti added that sugar beet and sunflower harvests were expected to be 20% down and milk production is likely to be hit by a 10% reduction.

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