Turkey’s exports decrease by 13 pct upon forex changes
AA PhotoTurkey’s exports decreased to $10.4 billion in February, a 13 percent drop from the same month of the previous year, mainly due to the loss in the Turkish Lira’s value and bad weather conditions, the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) announced on March 1.
The country’s exports also declined by 6.7 percent to $22.8 billion in the first two months of this year from the same period of 2014, TİM said by a written statement.
“The rise in the U.S. dollar’s value creates significant pressure over exported goods’ unit prices across the world. The loss of Turkey in its exports to only the European Union was $900 million due to forex changes. As exporters, we also faced a loss of around 20 percent in the unit prices in other regions due to the rise in the U.S. dollar’s value, as well as decreasing demand,” TİM head Mehmet Büyükekşi said.
He noted Turkish exporters expect more cuts in interest rates from the Central Bank.
“We want the Central Bank to decrease the benchmark rate to around 6-7 percent,” he said.
The bank lowered its main one-week repo rate for the second straight month on Tuesday, trimming it by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent.
Turkey most increased its exports to Iran among its 30 largest export markets. The country’s exports to Iran increased by 19.9 percent in February from the same month of the previous year, according to the TİM data. Turkey made the most exports to Germany, Britain, Iraq, the United States and Italy in February.
Turkey’s exports to Germany, however, declined by 11.8 percent in February from the same month of 2014, by 26.7 percent to Iraq and by 15.7 percent to Italy. Its exports to Britain increased by 5.1 percent and to the U.S. by 16.5 percent in February 2015 over the same period of 2014.
In other markets, Turkey increased its exports by 164 percent to Kuwait in February from the same month of the previous year, by 116 percent to Qatar, by 110 percent to Yemen, by 97 percent to Singapore and by 86 percent to Oman.
Turkey’s exports to the EU regressed by 11.2 percent in February, to Africa by 28.3 percent and to the Middle East by 7.5 percent, but increased to North America by 14.1 percent and Far Eastern countries by 12.1 percent.
“The global markets have been fluctuating. The biggest move will be taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve [Fed]… We will also be closely following the economic growth rates in the EU, our biggest market, and the developments in Greece,” Büyükekşi said.
He noted the rise in the spheres of influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Yemen, Libya and some part of Egypt as well as Iraq and Syria affects Turkey’s neighboring markets negatively.
“Despite a slight increase in oil prices and the Russian ruble’s value, another neighbor’s, Russia’s, economic woes has been deepening unfortunately,” he said.
Turkey needs to increase its exports with much higher added value, Büyükekşi said.
The biggest exports were made by the automotive sector, with around $1.7 billion in exports in February, followed by the ready-made clothing sector with around $1.2 billion in exports and the chemical products sector with over $1.1 billion.