February exports up 10 percent from last year

February exports up 10 percent from last year

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
February exports up 10 percent from last year

This photo shows Turkey’s Petkim chemicals factory. Turkish exporters exported $1.4 billion in chemicals in February.

Turkish exports in February witnessed a 10.4 percent increase from February 2011, hitting $11.2 billion, according to data released yesterday by the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM).

“[This] is the highest export number we have ever achieved in the month of February, and it is a record,” said Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan after the figures were announced.

Çağlayan added that Turkish exporters were resilient and were able to adapt to conditions that may come their way referring to the debt crisis in Europe and seasonal factors. He praised them for finding alternative markets to make up for the losses in exports to Europe.

“Export growth in Turkey was 18.5 percent in 2011 and we think that a 10 percent [year over year] increase in February, when the European Union is in a debt crisis and when the euro has depreciated significantly against the dollar in [year over year] terms, is a major success,” Özgür Altuğ, chief economist at BGC Partners, said in a written note to investors.

Altuğ said he expected a similar export performance for the rest of 2012 and estimated that Turkey’s exports would reach $155 billion in 2012.

According to TİM figures, the automotive sector enjoyed the most exports at $1.6 billion, followed by the chemicals sector at $1.4 billion and the steel sector, which came in third at $1.36 billion.

Industrial exports lead

Agricultural sector imports, at $1.5 billion, accounted for 14.6 percent of total exports. The industrial sector comprised the bulk of exports at $9.3 billion, or 83.8 percent. The mining sector exports took a sliver of the pie, exporting $259 million worth of mining products, accounting for just 4.9 percent of total exports.

The defense sector in February witnessed the greatest increase in exports with a 224 percent rise from a month earlier. The defense sector was followed by the tobacco sector and the ship and yacht sector.

Exports to EU were down

Exports to the EU, however, were down 4 percent in February, exports to African countries rose 96 percent, while exports to the Middle East increased 6 percent.

“Therefore the losses in exports to the EU countries were made up by the increase in exports to alternative markets,” said TİM President Mehmet Büyükekşi.

During February, Turkey exported the most to the following countries: Iraq, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Azerbaijan, Algeria and Morocco.