According to data released by the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM), Turkey's exports decreased 19 percent to $10.8 billion in May 2015 compared to May 2014. The decrease in the amount of exports has largely been affected by the automotive workers' strike that contributed a four-point decrease to total exports. The exports of the first five month period also dropped 8.3 percent to $61.3 billion, which was $66.87 billion in the first five months of 2014. Exports over the last 12 months also dropped 2.7 percent to $151.72 billion. Despite the strike, the automotive industry still led exports with $1.48 billion, followed by chemical products and textile sectors. TİM Chairman Mehmet Büyükekşi said the automotive workers' strike has caused a production and export loss of $250 million in spare parts and $300 million in vehicle production industries. Büyükekşi stressed that Turkey should focus on its economy and development agenda immediately after the elections and should leave behind the debate atmosphere. Pointing to the recovery in the eurozone after the European Central Bank (ECB) took measures, Büyükekşi said that imports to the EU have increased 2 percent in the last three months while Turkey has increased its exports to the EU by 13 percent, and now ranks fourth with export increases.
Emphasizing the effect of parity over exports, automotive exports have decreased 8 percent in the last four months in terms of value, despite an increase of 17 percent in terms of quantity, Büyükekşi said, adding that the overall effect of parity was $1.1 billion in May while it was $5.7 billion in the first five-month period. Büyükekşi also stressed the effect of political turmoil in Turkey's export markets, as in the first month period exports dropped 27 percent to Iraq, 37 percent to Russia and Ukraine and 40 percent to Libya.
The jewelry industry increased its exports 71 percent in May, followed by a 53 percent increase of hazelnut products.
Germany, the U.K., Iraq, Italy and the U.S. were the top destinations for Turkish exports in May, although with relative decreases of 26 percent, 16 percent, 38 percent, 22 percent and 15 percent, respectively.