Exporters in Turkey remain optimistic about performance in the second half of the year, despite many challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Turkey’s exports marked a sharp rebound in the first half of the year, seeing an almost 40% increase to $105 billion (TL 906.11 billion), above the goal of $100 billion, according to Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) Chairperson Ismail Gülle.
This marked the highest ever the first-half figure. The 12-month rolling exports reached nearly $199.57 billion in June, also the highest ever annualized figure.
Gülle said they hoped for the 12-month rolling sales to exceed the figure of $200 billion as of end-June but project to hit the threshold this month.
“I guess we will realize $200 billion in exports this July, namely from the seventh month of last year to the same month of this year,” Gülle told Anadolu Agency (AA) on the sidelines of a meeting in southeastern Gaziantep province.
Analysts have said the domestic demand would likely further rebound in the third quarter as the pandemic-related restrictions are eased.
Exports are also expected to be boosted by recovery among Turkey’s trading partners and the country’s successful vaccination program.
For instance, exports to Europe, the country’s top market, maintained an upward trend as sales surged 42% year-on-year in the first half of the year to $44 billion. Sales to European markets accounted for 42% of the country’s overall exports in the said period.
The final stage in Turkey’s gradual normalization process began this month, with curfews and lockdowns lifted, as well as all venues and businesses opening without restrictions.
“We are in a very advantageous situation both in terms of raw materials and logistics. This period (second half of the year) will be a period when we will meet all the goals.”
The pandemic led to a 6.26% drop in 2020 exports as Turkey closed the year with $169.5 billion in foreign sales, exceeding the target of $165.9 billion in the medium-term program.
Imports were up 4.3% to reach $219.4 billion. The foreign trade gap widened by 69.12% to $49.9 billion.
This year’s January-June foreign trade volume of $231.1 billion marked the highest six-month figure ever.
Imports in the said period posted an annual rise of 27.5% to $126.1 billion, the data showed.
“I predict that if another significant pandemic event does not occur in the world, 2022 will be the year when we will experience the highest annual exports in the history of the republic,” Gülle said.
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