Italy: the growing export market you should know about JANUARY 04, 20225 MIN READ
Italy: the growing export market you should know about

Italy’s export market is growing rapidly and with its exporting industry currently focused on high-value sectors, there are many opportunities for Italians that produce or sell products that fall into these industries.

In this post, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about Italy’s export market. Before we get into the top 5 exports from Italy, however, we will first discuss how big the market is. We’ll also talk about which markets have the best opportunities for Italian exporters.

To wrap things up, we will cover how supports global selling for Italian suppliers and manufacturers.

Table of Contents

How big is Italy's export market?

The Italian economy is among the most powerful on the globe. Italy’s current gross domestic product (GDP) is US $1.886 trillion,[1] making it the eighth largest economy in the world.[2]

Over a quarter of Italy’s GDP can be attributed to exporting. In 2020, Italy’s export sector was worth $496.1 billion.[3] The bulk of these goods was sold to buyers in Europe.

When you consider Italy’s population, the value of the export industry per capita is US $8,200.

What are Italy's top 5 exports?

Italy exports everything from leather and textiles, to petroleum gas and mineral fuels. However, most of Italy’s top exports are technology-focused and fall in the high-value sector.

With that said, let’s take a look at Italy’s top 5 exports.[4]

1. Technical machinery and computers

Machinery and computers make up over 18% of Italy’s exports, with a value of US $91.1 billion. This makes this type of product Italy’s leading export by far.

Products that fall into the technical machinery and computers category are particularly valuable since our world is growing ever more digital.

2. Vehicles

Vehicles make up the second-largest group of Italian exports. In fact, vehicles make up 7.7% of Italy’s exports, at a total value of US $38.3 billion.

This includes cars, vehicle parts, trucks, clutches, transmission shafts, gears, barges, yachts, and motorcycles.

3. Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals are another major export from Italy. Last year, Italy exported a total of US $35.9 billion worth of pharmaceutical products, meaning that this type of product represents 7.2% of Italy’s exports.

Between 2019 and 2020, pharmaceutical export sales from Italy increased by nearly 7%.

4. Electrical machinery and equipment

Electrical machinery and equipment make up 6.2% of Italy’s export market. In 2020, this amounted to a total of US $30.8 billion worth of electrical machinery and equipment sold.

Some examples of electrical machinery and equipment include liquid pumps, elevators, dishwashers, laundry machines, temperature change machines, refrigerators, and electric water heaters.

5. Plastic

Italy exported US $20.3 billion worth of plastic products in 2020, which means that this category of goods makes up 4.1% of Italy’s export market.

Plastic products can be intermediary or final goods, meaning that they can be sold as a raw material for the production of different products for consumers, or they can be sold as a final product for consumers.

What countries does Italy export to?

italy global export

Italian companies trade in many different countries around the world.[5] Some of Italy’s top export destinations include:

  • Germany
  • France
  • United States
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • Switzerland
  • China
  • Belgium
  • Poland
  • The Netherlands

Where are the best markets for Italian goods?

As you can see, the bulk of Italian exports is destined to other countries within Europe.[6] This is likely because of the geographic proximity between Italy and the rest of Europe. Shipping to a closer destination typically costs less than it does to ship to a destination overseas.

The continuity of trade laws between different countries in the European Union (EU) also makes trading between Italy and other EU countries easier. Since compatible trade laws are a must for exporting, doing business within the EU is a wise path to take.

Another way to determine the best market for your Italian goods is to assess where there is a demand for your unique products. This can be done with various demand forecasting tools, including RELEX, o9 Software, or NETSTOCK.

What are the challenges of exporting from Italy?

There is one possible challenge to keep in mind when exporting from Italy.

Over the past year, the Euro has become stronger than the currencies of several Italian trade partners. Some of these currencies include the U.S. Dollar, the Canadian Dollar, the Chinese Yuan, and the Great British Pound.[7] Since Italian products are priced in Euros, this makes Italian products more expensive to buyers in those countries.

Another possible challenge of exporting from Italy is the implementation of embargos or trade restrictions imposed by other nations. Rules and restrictions vary from country to country, so be sure to research and plan accordingly.

How to sell Italian goods with

Leveraging the support of a B2B e-commerce platform, such as, is a great way to start or grow your export business. Italian exporters can use this type of platform to test new markets in foreign countries and reach more buyers.’s platform allows B2B sellers to create branded digital storefronts where they can showcase their products. Sellers on own their relationships with their leads and buyers, but if needed, the platform does offer communication management. This helps to keep things organized by managing all of your leads in one place. offers a variety of features that are especially valuable for cross-border trade. These include automatic translations, automatic currency conversions, Trade Assurance, the Request for Quotation (RFQ) marketplace, and more.

Sign up for to start selling in no time.