Exports hit all-time high for January
Turkey’s exports hit an all-time high for January with a 17 percent annual jump to $17.6 billion according to initial data, Trade Minister Mehmet Muş said on Feb. 2.
Imports spiked to $28 billion - up 55 percent - last month due to the unexpectedly harsh winter conditions and rising energy prices, the minister said at a news conference in Ankara.
Energy imports amounted to $9 billion in January, Muş said, adding that the export-import coverage ratio, without energy, stood at 88.3 percent.
Turkey’s trade deficit jumped 240.7 percent year on year in January to $10.44 billion, mainly due to energy imports that nearly quadrupled compared to a year ago.
“Our route in the economy is clear: Investment, production, employment and exports,” the minister said.
“The success we have achieved in exports has also been an indication that we are taking firm steps forward in our route.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday a target of $300 billion of annual exports was not unrealistic.
“We will now use all our strength, time and energy to grow our country with investment, employment, production, export and current surplus,” he said.
The rise in exports was driven by a 54.9 percent jump in steel exports ($1.6 billion), while chemical products exports ($2.1 billion) rose 30.1 percent and automotive exports ($2.2 billion) increased 1.2 percent.
Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Italy were the top markets for Turkish exports with around $1 billion each, according to figures released by the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM).
The share of exports to the European Union countries was 41.6 percent in January, while exports to the 27-member bloc increased 14 percent to $7.3 billion.
When included the non-EU countries in the continent, the share of exports to Europe was 54.3 percent.
Exports to the Middle East, Africa and the Far East hit $3 billion, $1.9 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively.
Turkish exporters sent shipments to 219 countries last month, said TİM head İsmail Gülle.
The foreign trade deficit shrank 7.5 percent year on year to $46.1 billion in 2021, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) showed on Jan. 31.
Exports rose to $225.3 billion in 2021 with an increase of 32.8 percent, while its imports increased by 23.6 percent to $271.4 billion, TÜİK said.
In 2021, excluding the energy and gold trade, Turkey’s exports and imports were $20.9 billion and $21.6 billion, respectively.
However, there was a deterioration in December 2021 when the deficit surged 49 percent from a year earlier to $6.8 billion.
In November 2021, the Turkish government launched a new economic program that prioritises low interest rates, exports, employment, production and investment.
The Central Bank has cut its policy rate by 500 basis points to 14 percent since September 2021.
Turkey’s current account balance posted a $2.68 billion deficit in November 2021 after recording surplus for three months in a row. The 12-month rolling deficit totaled $14.25 billion.