Turkey's industrial goods exports to China start to revive
Turkish industrial goods exports to China have rallied as Chinese factories resume production and businesses reopen after shutdown amid the coronavirus outbreak.
"After the Chinese economy reopened gradually, acceleration started in firms exporting to China," said Murat Kolbaşı, the chairman of the Asia-Pacific Business Council of Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK).
He recalled that life almost ground to a halt in China until the mid-March due to a large-scale lockdown to stem the spread of the virus.
"Some 75 percent of the factories restart production in China, domestic demand is now around 60-80 percent levels," Kolbaşı told Anadolu Agency.
"Turkish firms manufacturing industrial goods see a rise in export orders from China, especially in the electrical electronics industry and producing intermediate goods."
However, he said, the increase is not at the desired level yet.
Kolbaşı highlighted that Turkish industrialists also see a rebound in orders from the Asia-Pacific region.
On April 8, China lifted 76-day of lockdown over Wuhan, the ground zero of the virus.
The world's second-biggest, the Chinese economy shrank 6.8 percent in the first quarter this year, according to official data last week,
The contraction was worse than expected, and the first decline since at least 1992 when official quarterly GDP records started.
The country's retail sales slumped 15.8 percent in March as shoppers deserted streets. The unemployment rate was 5.9 percent last month, after seeing highest level of 6.2 percent in February. The figure was up from 5.3 percent in January and 5.2 percent in December.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the Chinese manufacturing sector rose to 52 in March from 35.7 in February, the first glimmer of the recovery.
Ersin Şahin, general manager of a Turkish diesel engine manufacturing firm Erin Motor, underlined that the automotive sector restarted production in the second half of March after slowing down in the first two months.
"Although it is below the pre-pandemic figures, for now, we expect China to be in a better position than it is today in May," Şahin said.
Half of the company's exports were with European countries and the rest were with the US and China, Şahin said.
"There has been no hitch on the US side, and we started to ship products to China as of early April."
"We are trying to make up the market loss in Europe right now.
"We are the largest exporter to China in our field across Turkey and recovery signals here became a light for the sector," he stressed.