Some 5.4 million tons of pasta were produced in the European Union last year, the EU's statistical authority said Thursday, marking World Pasta Day.
EU pasta production worth €5.3 billion (around $6.05 billion) in 2017 showed an increase of 60 percent, or 2 million tons, compared to 10 years ago.
Not surprisingly, Italy led EU member states in pasta production, claiming some 67 percent of the total EU production in terms of both volume and value during the same period, the data said.
Italy produced 3.6 million tons of pasta worth €3.5 billion (around $4 billion) in 2017, making it the leading pasta exporter in the EU, exporting 1.8 million tons or 76 percent of the EU member state total.
Around 2.4 million tons of pasta were exported by member states last year, and more than half of it -- 67 percent -- was exported to other member states.
Germany was the top importer of pasta during the same period -- 363,000 tons -- representing a quarter of total EU member states' imports, followed by France with 337,000 tons, or 23 percent of total imports.
In 2017, the major destination for EU exports of pasta outside the EU was the U.S. with some 167,000 tons, followed by Japan, which took in 77,000 tons of EU pasta imports.
"The figures refer to uncooked pasta, not stuffed or otherwise prepared," said Eurostat.