Turkey's exports in June surged by 15.8% year-on-year, while they registered a 35% month-on-month increase, bouncing back from a decline due to the coronavirus pandemic, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan announced Thursday.
Exports in June reached $13.47 billion, Pekcan told Anadolu Agency's (AA) Editor's Desk in the capital Ankara.
Imports also rose 8.2% to $16.3 billion in the same period, Pekcan said.
The export-to-import coverage ratio was 82.6% in June 2020 versus 77.2% in June 2019, she added.
Double-digit sector growth
During the month, the foreign trade deficit rose 17.3% compared to the same month last year, to $2.8 billion, while the foreign trade volume climbed 11.52% to $29.8 billion.
"Looking at the sectors with the highest export growth, there was an increase of 24% in textiles, 20% in iron and steel and 18% in electronics," Pekcan explained.
While the automotive industry stayed on top as Turkey's leading export sector, in June its exports fell 11% year-on-year but rose 80% month-on-month, she added.
Pekcan also said Turkey's highest increase in foreign sales by country came in its exports to the U.K., up 43% in the month compared to the same month in 2019.
It was followed by Iran with a 37% rise, Russia with 34% and China with 19.6%, she said.
In some countries such as Italy and France, Turkey's exports fell in June compared to the same period in 2019, but she noted: "Interestingly, Turkey's exports to these two countries climbed month-on-month."
Exports to Italy and France posted respective rises of 55% and 45% in June compared to May.
Mark in economy, health care
Touting the nation's successes in the face of the pandemic, Pekcan said, "Turkey has distinguished itself in both the economy and health care, sending strong signals of recovery from the crisis thanks to the dedicated work of our exporters, manufacturers and industrialists."
Government measures provided a shield to protect local producers and industrialists, she said.
Pekcan also highlighted the demand for updating the Customs Union between Turkey and the European Union, saying both sides would benefit and business leaders on both sides have long pressed for the change.
On the customs deal, she urged "putting politics on one side and trade and the economy on the other."
Turkish officials and business leaders have long argued that updating the outdated 1995 customs union with the EU would benefit the economies of both sides. Although talks have been stalled as a result of political tensions over the last three years, business circles and officials from both sides have endeavored to maintain dialogue.
Turkey is the only non-EU country that has had a customs union agreement with the bloc, which was agreed on in 1966. In its Dec. 21, 2016, assessment, the EU Commission proposed the modernization of the current deal, which only covers a limited range of industrial products and excludes agriculture, public procurement and services.
On the foreign trade figures, Ismail Gülle, head of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM), said Turkey's export performance beyond expectations has proven it is a safe haven for global trade.
"We witnessed the positive contribution of public banks and private banks, especially (Türk) Eximbank, to exporters in June, in all sectors," he noted.
This cooperation carries great importance for offering low-interest loans to exporters and positive discrimination for female exporters, he said. The country's June export figures reflect this great effort, he said.
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