Turkey's foreign trade deficit shrank nearly 25 percent last year
The figure reached $55 billion last year, down from a $76.8 billion-deficit in 2017, according to TÜİK.
Turkish exports rose 7 percent on a yearly basis to hit $168 billion, as imports dropped to $223 billion, indicating a decrease of 4.6 percent.
In the New Economic Program, released in September, the government had forecast a foreign trade deficit of $66 billion for 2018. It had forecast exports and imports at $170 billion and $236 billion, respectively.
TÜİK data also showed that the exports-to-imports coverage increased to 75.3 percent last year, up from 67.1 percent in 2017.
In 2017, the country’s exports were nearly $157 billion, while imports were $233.8 billion.
EU top export market
Turkey’s exports to EU, its main trading partner with a share of 50 percent, surged 13.7 percent year-on-year to total at $84 billion last year.
Shipments to Asian and African countries, other largest export markets for Turkish products, were $41.8 billion and $14 billion, respectively, in 2018.
According to TÜİK, Germany was the top export market of Turkey, with some $16.1 billion worth of exports.
It was followed by the U.K. with $11.1 billion, Italy with nearly $9.6 million and Iraq with $8.4 billion in 2018.
The top country for Turkey’s imports was Russia with almost $23 billion last year. China followed it with $20.7 billion, Germany with $20.4 billion and the U.S. with $12.4 billion.
The data showed that manufacturing accounted for the lion’s share of total exports, at 93.9 percent or $157.8 billion.
Agriculture and forestry exports (nearly $5.6 billion) got a 3.3 percent share, while mining and quarrying exports had a share of 2 percent, i.e. $3.4 billion.
The share of high technology products in manufacturing industry exports was 3.5 percent while the exports shares of medium-high and low technology products were 36.4 and 27.6 percent, respectively.
The country’s consumer goods imports fell 19.7 percent to $22.9 billion while intermediate goods imports declined mildly by 0.8 percent to $170 billion last year. In 2018, Turkey imported $29.3 billion worth of capital goods, an 11.5 percent decline from the previous year.
In December 2018, exports increased by 0.2 percent on a yearly basis to $13.9 billion, while imports decreased to $16.6 billion, a 28.3 percent fall. Thus, foreign trade deficit last month was $2.7 billion, shrinking 71.1 percent year-on-year.
Turkey’s energy import bill increased by 1.4 percent to nearly $3.92 billion in December last year compared to the same month of 2017. The country’s crude oil imports showed a 10.47 percent increase over the same period compared to December 2017.