Foreign trade volume up 3.6 pct in Q1
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Turkey's foreign trade volume grew 3.6 percent year-on-year to $98.4 billion in the first quarter of 2020, according to a preliminary Trade Ministry data released on April 2.
The country's exports volume was choked off by coronavirus in January-March after seeing 4 percent rise in the first two months, the ministry said in a statement.
The figure dropped 3.9 percent on a yearly basis to $42.8 billion in the first three months of this year.
Imports climbed 10.3 percent to nearly $55.7 billion, amounting to a foreign trade deficit of $12.9 billion over the same period.
The data also showed that the exports-to-imports coverage ratio in the first three months of this year was at 76.9 percent, down from 88.2 percent in the same quarter of 2019.
In March, Turkey's exports narrowed 17.8 percent compared to a year earlier, reaching $13.4 billion.
The quarantine restrictions enacted at the borders, especially with neighboring countries Iraq and Iran, and market and demand shrinkage in EU states were the main culprits of the decline in exports in March, the statement said.
The country's imports totaled $18.8 billion last month, rising 3 percent on an annual basis.
Turkey posted a $5.4 billion foreign trade deficit in March, up from $1.9 last year.
The head of Turkish Exporters' Assembly, İsmail Gülle, stressed that exports to 83 countries increased last month "despite the negative outlook in global trade."
The top export market for Turkish products were Germany ($1.3 billion), the U.S. ( $880 million) and the U.K.($802 million), he noted.
Exports to the EU, Turkey’s main trading partner, totaled $6.2 billion in March, gaining a 46.2 percent share in total exports of the country, he added.
Gülle underlined that the automotive industry maintained its chair as Turkey's leading export sector with exports worth $2.6 billion last month, followed by chemical products with $1.6 billion and ready-made garments and apparel with $1.2 billion.
The hazelnut exports showed the strongest performance with a 53.3 percent annual rise, Gülle said.