Türkiye’s foreign trade in local currency rising

Türkiye’s foreign trade in local currency rising

Türkiye’s foreign trade in local currency rising

Foreign trade transactions made in Turkish Liras have been on the rise, reaching 34.2 billion liras in August, data from the Trade Ministry show.

Last month, exports in local currency grew 109 percent on an annual basis to 10.4 billion liras, while imports climbed from only 8.2 billion liras in August 2021 to 23.8 billion liras.

Consequently, the volume of foreign trade - exports and imports combined - in local currency exhibited a strong 159 percent increase from August 2021 to touch 34.2 billion liras last month.

The Trade Ministry reported on Sept. 2 that the country’s exports rose by 13.2 percent year-on-year to $21.3 billion. The annual increase in imports was nearly 41 percent to $32.6 billion. The country’s foreign trade balance posted a deficit of $11.3 billion, rising 162 percent from a year ago.

Türkiye’s foreign trade volume stood at $54 billion in August, up from $42 billion in the same month of last year.

The export-to-import coverage ratio declined from 81.4 percent in August 2021 to 65.4 percent last month.

“Excluding energy and gold imports, the coverage ratio was 91.6 percent,” said Trade Minister Mehmet Muş.

Muş also said that the recent hikes in electricity and natural gas prices became inevitable due to higher energy costs globally and subsidies offered.

Türkiye normally would pay between $35 billion and $40 billion each year for energy imports but last year the country’s energy import bill climbed to $51 billion and it may further rise above $100 billion in 2022, he explained.

Electricity prices for households were increased by 20 percent, effective Sept. 1, the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EPDK). Prices for industry were also hiked by 50 percent.

The Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (Botaş) said last week it had hiked the natural gas price for households by 20.4 percent and for small to medium-sized companies by 47.6 percent. Prices were also increased by 50.8 percent for industrial users and for the gas used in electricity production by 49.5 percent.

Despite the challenges from global economy, the Turkish economy continued its growth and exports remained one of the main drivers of GDP expansion, Muş also said.

Exports of goods and services added 3.9 percentage points to the country’s growth in the second quarter, the minister noted.

The annual growth rate accelerated from 7.5 percent in the first quarter to 7.6 percent in the April-June period.

Muş recalled that Türkiye aims to boost export revenues to $250 billion in 2022. “This target could be reached.”

In the first eight months of 2022, the country’s exports were up 18.3 percent on an annual basis to $166 billion, while imports grew nearly 41 percent year-on-year to $239 billion. Türkiye’s foreign trade gap widened 146 percent in January-August from the same period of 2021 to $73.5 billion.