(AGI) Reggio Emilia, 20 May - Exports of Parmigiano Reggianocheese rose sharply early this year, with a 10.1 percent growthin the first two months. The U.S. was the driving force behindthis boom as it increased its imports of the parmesan cheese by11 percent in January and February. The president of theConsortium of Parmigiano Reggiano, Giuseppe Alai, wascautiously optimistic. "Consumption is good in Europe, which isstill the main market, so much so that in February totalexports within and outside the EU grew by 9.4 percent. Theseresults have allowed us to absorb the impact of the Russianembargo, but we hope that soon international diplomatic actionwill lead to the reopening of the borders of this importantmarket. This would lead to a further acceleration of ourproduct's exports." Sales of grated parmesan cheese alsoincreased significantly in the first two months of 2015 (9.8percent). While exports grew, production of Parmigiano Reggianofell by 1.2 percent in April and by 1.9 percent over the firstfour months.. .