Turkey’s trade deficit continues to decline in January amid plunge in oil, imports
AA photoTurkey’s foreign trade deficit declined 13.4 percent year-on-year in January, in line with the oil plunge and the decreasing trend in imports.
In January, the deficit fell to $3.76 billion, down from $4.34 billion from same month last year, plummeting 13.4 percent, according to data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) on Feb. 29.
Turkey’s exports amounted to $9.6 billion, a 22 percent decrease from January 2015, and imports were $13.4 billion, a 19.7 percent decline year-on-year, according to the data.
While the country’s imports have been decreasing amid the slump in global energy prices, both the decline in the euro-dollar parity and escalating geopolitical risks have negatively affected exports, according to experts.
Turkey’s exports to Russia declined by 66 percent and to Iraq by 43.8 percent in January compared to the same month of the previous year. Exports to the United Arab Emirates and to Iran also declined 36.9 percent and 35.9 percent, respectively, in January compared to the same month of 2015. Turkey’s exports to Switzerland also dropped over 80 percent, according to the data.
İş Investment economist Muammer Kömürcüoğlu said the gold trade has started the year at a slower pace than it did last year and a regression of around 45 percent in the January exports was mainly due to the decline in the gold exports.
“Furthermore, the automotive exports also started the year at a slower pace due to the negative effects of a stronger year earlier. Another regressing number was seen in iron-steel exports mainly due to the commodity plunge,” he said, as quoted by Reuters.
“While the oil plunge has pushed down imports, we do not see any recovery signals in exports… Throughout the year, the recovery signals in European economies and the lifting of the sanctions on Iran may support the domestic demand. We however do not expect a solid rebound in figures due to the rising geopolitical risks and the loss in income of the oil-exporting countries,” he added.
Turkey’s exports to the EU, its main trading partner, declined by 9.7 percent in January to $4.75 billion. The European Union accounted for 49.5 percent of total Turkish exports in January compared with 42.7 percent in January 2015.
In January, the main partner country for exports was Germany, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy and Iraq, according to the TÜİK data.