Turkish exports go up in March
ANKARATurkey’s exports increased for a third straight month in March, data from the Exporters’ Assembly of Turkey (TİM) revealed on April 1, one day after the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) reported a drop in exports in the previous month.
Turkish exports in March have increased 19 percent year-on-year, the highest rise since November 2012, according to TİM.
Exports totaled $13.6 billion last month and reached $37 billion for the first three months, up from $34.7 billion in 2016, which represents an increase of 6.7 percent compared with the same period last year, TİM announced.
Turkey’s total exports within the last 12 months stood at $144.9 billion, a rise of 2.4 percent compared to the previous 12 months.
“With the recovering global economy and the support and incentives of our government, Turkey’s exports started to rise again in 2017,” said TİM President Mehmet Büyükekşi.
A strong growth in exports will have a positive impact on the Turkish economy’s growth rate, Büyükekşi added.
The largest volume of exports in March was made by the country’s automotive industry again with $2.7 billion, followed by the ready-made clothing sector at $1.53 billion and the chemical materials and products sector at $1.5 billion, according to the data released.
Exports to Asia increased by 44 percent and to the European Union by 20 percent, while Turkey’s exports to the Netherlands decreased by 8.5 percent in March year-on-year.
Improving relations with Russia also resulted in a 45.3 percent increase in exports to Moscow in March, as well as 40.3 percent in the first quarter of 2017.
However, the country’s exports to Iran decreased by 17.1 percent, while exports to Egypt also fell by 13.3 percent, according to TİM’s data.
The largest increase in the country’s exports among the top 30 markets was to Malta and Portugal at rates of 95.9 and 92.1 percent, respectively.
Exports to Singapore also increased by 340.5 percent and to China by 73 percent in March.
Commenting on Turkey’s growth rate in last quarter of 2016, the TİM president said the rate was below the country’s potential.
“But the growth rate came better than expected. The growth reinforced the idea that the macro fundamentals of the Turkish economy are strong. We continue to grow despite the failed coup attempt [of July 2016], terrorist incidents and rating cuts by international agencies. We believe that we will achieve much higher growth figures this year with incentive packages given by our government,” he added.
Turkey’s foreign trade deficit widened in February as the country’s import costs rose, TÜİK said March 31.
The deficit increased by 15 percent to reach $3.69 billion in February 2017 compared with $3.16 billion in the same month of last year, TÜİK data showed.
Data also showed that exports dropped by 1.9 percent to $12.12 billion year-on-year in February.
In February, Turkey’s total imports rose by 1.6 percent to $15.82 billion compared to the same period of 2016, TÜİK said.
The report revealed that the country’s exports to the EU declined to $5.5 billion in February 2017, a fall of 3.2 percent compared to last year.
Still, TÜİK said on March 31 that the Turkish economy expanded at a rate of 2.9 percent in 2016.