Sardinia: how is the economy going, sector by sector

The best-selling products in Italy and in the world

The economy of Sardinia appears in recovery after strong contractions due to the period of pandemic, at least in the first part of 2022. Several statistical indicators say so. Starting with those provided by Istat than in relation to the period January-September 2022 they register a increase in regional exports of 73.9% compared to the same period of 2021.

Bank of Italy data also underline some positive economic performances for the island: for example, in the first half of 2022 the growth rate of exports abroad (FOB-CIF) was 61.2. Among the Italian regions, only Sicily (78) and Marche (72.5) did better than Sardinia.

In particular, i leading sectors of Sardinian exports were those related to the products of ‘other manufacturing activities’ that mark in the first six months of last year +596.8% compared to the same period of 2021 and the products ofextraction of minerals from quarries and mines, +224.1%. A negative balance instead for the base metals and metal products sector -69.5% and for the computer, electronic and optical equipment sector -48.3%.

Export boom to Central and South America

From the data of study “Regional economies” 2022 by the Bank of Italyit emerges that, by destination area, Sardinian exports in the first half of last year recorded a boom especially towards the countries of Central and South Americawith a FOB-CIF growth rate of +290.3% compared to 2021.

At the individual country level, thethe greatest increase recorded in the export of Sardinian products is to the United Kingdom with +268% in the first half of 2022 compared to the same period of the previous year. In the Euro area, the increase of exports to France +155%.

Decidedly exports to the United States (+104.9%) and Germany (+79.3%) were also positive. Negative percentages instead only towards the non-EU countries of Central-Eastern Europe which register -68.3% and towards the other EU countries, excluding France, Germany and Spain, which register -8.7%.

China, huge market for Sardinian products

(Adnkronos) – If on the one hand it is collapsed the Russian marketabruptly interrupted by the events of the conflict in Ukraine, for Sardinian products, the enormous Chinese market remains alive, worth over 10 million euros. Of these, almost 8.5 million are revenues linked to manufactured products of small and medium-sized enterprises, especially in the agri-food, wood, mineral, textile and chemical sectors.

Going into the specifics of the data analyzed by the Study Office of Confartigianato Imprese Sardegna, relating to the period June 2021-2022, at a territorial level i the major exporters to China are the companies in the Oristano area with over 4.6 million euros in total products sold (4.5 million SMEs), followed by Sassari with 4.2 million (3.175 million SMEs) e Cagliari with 612 thousand euros (327 thousand of SMEs).

Food specialties are among the most requested Sardinian products by the Chinese (46.3% of total exports), followed by wood and wood products (excluding furniture), straw and weaving articles (20.3%) and chemicals (11.3%). “Interesting numbers in a market so vast as to leave room for enormous growth margins,” commented Maria Amelia Lai, President of Confartigianato Imprese Sardegna.

The oil sector drives exports

(Adnkronos) – 77% of Sardinia’s regional exports are represented by refined petroleum products with a strong dependence on coil sector especially in the Metropolitan City of Cagliari where two large refineries are located, Saras and Sarlux.

Among the countries with the greatest imports of Sardinian petroleum products we find France and Spain with values ​​of 510.6 million euros and 394.4 million euros respectively in 2021. It should be noted that despite the recovery on an annual basis compared to 2020, the values they are still lower than in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year: -37.5% of oil exports to the French market, -11.1% to the Iberian one.

On the other hand, the opposite trend for exports to Morocco and Libya with very significant percentage growth recorded in 2021, +107% and +43.8% respectively with respect to the previous year. Oil exports to the United States, on the other hand, albeit recovering, are more than 20 points lower than in 2019.

Cagliari at the top for petroleum products, Sassari for food

(Adnkronos) – What are the most exported products by geographical area? According to the Istat data of the Commercial Exchange in Sardinia report relating to 2021 and processed by SardegnaImpresa, the exports of the Metropolitan City of Cagliari are monopolized by oil processing products with a total value of almost 4.3 billion euros and an increase 75% compared to 2020.

Sassari and province instead they are distinguished species for the food exports, which correspond to 48% of the province’s total exports. The second item of Sassarese exports is made up of chemical products, followed by wood and cork products, the latter however registering seven percentage points less than in 2020.

Food specialties also lead the exports of companies from Oristano, in particular dairy products whose value amounts to around 16 million euros. From Southern Sardinia to the Nuoro area, the most requested products abroad are metal articles.

The central role of agribusiness

Net of the export of petroleum products, which represent the main share, the figure relating to Sardinian regional exports In the first quarter of 2022 is down by 6% compared to the same period of 2021.

Despite the general decline, the agro-food sector held up, which grew by 6 percentage points in the first three months of last year and which overall represents 15% of the region’s total exports (net of petroleum products). Among the most popular specialties are dairy products, especially pecorino and sweet Sardinian, for which demand grew by 30% in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the previous year.

Sardinian agri-food products are always highly appreciated especially in the United States, whose demand is worth 44% of the market, even if it recorded a 9% drop in the first three months of 2022. Demand from the Chinese market is also down (-40%) which overall represents 2% of the market.

The strategic orientation of the Region

(Adnkronos) – With a view to tackling the new challenges of globalisation, the Sardinia Region envisages the implementation of various strategies to support businesses also with reference to the rapid transition underway in production and management processes.

One of the main goals is to increase the presence of Sardinian companies in global value chains supporting their capacity for innovation and investment, with particular reference to PMI, also through the creation of a network of collaboration of regional supply chains to penetrate new markets and introduce new products into established markets.

A regional strategic orientation in which digitization has a central and transversal role as an accelerator of the process of building and strengthening the networks of companies operating in the area.

Business support tools

(Adnkronos) – There are various programs and institutional initiatives to support companies. New funding is envisaged for micro-enterprises and SMEs as part of Por Fesr 2021-2027, the Regional Operational Programs financed by the European Regional Development Fundalso for the purpose of favor access to advanced services and external markets.

To promote Sardinian exports, the Region is putting in place new financial support to allow companies to participate in promotional events, as well as setting up a calendar of ad hoc events for 2023 and supporting participation in the main ecommerce.

On the subject of internationalization have been courses and training activities were activated to increase managerial skillsin addition to incoming actions and assistance for the territories and for the supply chains. Furthermore, the establishment of international institutional networks has been initiated to address issues such as theattraction of investments, enhancement of talents, logistics and reindustrialization processes of some territories.