Turkey’s exports plunge around 4 percent in first half of 2016

Turkey’s exports plunge around 4 percent in first half of 2016

Turkey’s exports plunge around 4 percent in first half of 2016

DHA photo

Turkey’s exports fell 3.8 percent to $70.6 billion in the first half of the year compared to the same period of 2015, stated the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) on July 1. 

Rising regional risks, parity risks and the slow recovery in European economies all played a role in hitting exports, according to officials and analysts. 

The body, which revealed export figures for June, said Turkey’s exports over the month amounted to $11.8 billion, which was a 1.8 percent improvement compared with data for the same month last year.    
The country’s 12-month exports declined by 6.6 percent to around $142 billion, data showed.
The automotive sector again made the highest volume of exports in June, worth $2.13 billion, marking an 8.2 percent rise from the same month of 2015. The sector was followed by the ready-made wear and confection sector with exports worth over $1.5 billion. 

Turkey experienced a slowdown in exports to 101 markets in June, while it saw a rise in exports to 134 countries. 

The biggest amount of exports was made to Germany, Italy and the United States, while exports to Britain and Iraq, two of its main markets, declined by 4.4 percent and 14.9 percent respectively, compared to the same month of 2015. 

Discussing Turkey’s recovering of political ties with several countries in the region, including Russia and Israel, TİM President Mehmet Büyükekşi said exporters’ losses in the Russian market were mainly caused by economic problems in Russia. 

“The recovery of the losses in this market will take time, but we expect a quick recovery particularly in the fresh fruit and vegetable sector, the jewelry sector, the leather sector, the ready-made wear sector and the machinery sector,” Büyükekşi noted. 

Huge loss in fresh fruit, vegetable exports to Russia

The head of the Agriculturalists Association of Turkey (TZOB), Şemsi Bayraktar, stated that his sector’s loss had reached $290 million over this year due to political problems with Russia. 

“Russia’s share in our fresh fruit and vegetable exports was 39 percent on an amount basis and 42 percent on a value basis. The sector’s exports have been negatively affected since sanctions were imposed by Russia on Jan. 1. While Turkey made around $368.2 million in revenue in exchange for around 530,000 tons of fresh fruit and vegetable exports to Russia in the first five months of 2015, this figure plunged to around $78.2 million of revenue for some 113,000 tons of exports,” Bayraktar noted at a press meeting on July 1.  

Büyükekşi also noted that trade ties between Turkey and Israel had increased by 77 percent since 2009 despite political tensions over the last six years. 

“If we managed to increase our trade relations even during the crisis period, we can expect much further rises in the upcoming period of normalization,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Büyükekşi also said the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union would affect Turkey’s exports temporarily due to the losses in sterling and euro.