Turkey's foreign trade deficit shrank nearly 25 percent last year
The figure reached $55 billion last year, down from a $76.8 billion-deficit in 2017, according to TÜİK.
Turkish exports rose 7 percent on a yearly basis to hit $168 billion, as imports dropped to $223 billion, indicating a decrease of 4.6 percent.
In the New Economic Program, released in September, the government had forecast a foreign trade deficit of $66 billion for 2018. It had forecast exports and imports at $170 billion and $236 billion, respectively.
The government expects the country’s foreign trade shortfall to shrink to $62 billion this year. Its export and import forecasts are $182 billion and $244 billion, respectively.
TÜİK data also showed that the exports-to-imports coverage increased to 75.3 percent last year, up from 67.1 percent in 2017.
In 2017, the country’s exports were nearly $157 billion, while imports were $233.8 billion.
EU top export market
Turkey’s exports to EU, its main trading partner with a share of 50 percent, surged 13.7 percent year-on-year to total at $84 billion last year.
Shipments to Asian and African countries, other largest export markets for Turkish products, were $41.8 billion and $14 billion, respectively, in 2018.
According to TÜİK, Germany was the top export market of Turkey, with some $16.1 billion worth of exports.
It was followed by the U.K. with $11.1 billion, Italy with nearly $9.6 million and Iraq with $8.4 billion in 2018.
The top country for Turkey’s imports was Russia with almost $23 billion last year. China followed it with $20.7 billion, Germany with $20.4 billion and the U.S. with $12.4 billion.
The data showed that manufacturing accounted for the lion’s share of total exports, at 93.9 percent or $157.8 billion.
Agriculture and forestry exports (nearly $5.6 billion) got a 3.3 percent share, while mining and quarrying exports had a share of 2 percent, i.e. $3.4 billion.
The share of high technology products in manufacturing industry exports was 3.5 percent while the exports shares of medium-high and low technology products were 36.4 and 27.6 percent, respectively.
The country’s consumer goods imports fell 19.7 percent to $22.9 billion while intermediate goods imports declined mildly by 0.8 percent to $170 billion last year. In 2018, Turkey imported $29.3 billion worth of capital goods, an 11.5 percent decline from the previous year.
In December 2018, exports increased by 0.2 percent on a yearly basis to $13.9 billion, while imports decreased to $16.6 billion, a 28.3 percent fall. Thus, foreign trade deficit last month was $2.7 billion, shrinking 71.1 percent year-on-year.
Turkey’s energy import bill increased by 1.4 percent to nearly $3.92 billion in December last year compared to the same month of 2017. The country’s crude oil imports showed a 10.47 percent increase over the same period compared to December 2017.
Turkey imported approximately 2.11 million tons of crude oil in December 2018, up from 1.91 million tons for the same period in 2017.