Exports saw a 10.5 percent decline in November from the same month in the previous year, according to a preliminary report released by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) on Tuesday. Exports fell to $11.43 billion in November, but the volume of exports remained about the same compared to the same period of last year, according to TİM.
Total exports were down 8.6 percent to $131.94 billion this year to date, as the persisting geopolitical crises among Turkey's neighbors and the weak economic recovery in Europe has limited exporters' performance. Releasing this data to the press, TİM President Mehmet Büyükekşi said the low value of the euro against the dollar had hurt export revenue. However, exports to Germany, the European Union's largest economy and Turkey's main trading partner, decreased 4.7 percent to $1.16 billion in November. Moreover, the automobile industry registered nearly $2 billion in exports for the month, of which the largest part went to Germany. However, Büyükekşi stressed that exports had experienced softer declines than those of other regions. The EU, for example, saw a 12.6 percent drop in exports for the same period.
Büyükekşi said the euro is expected to hold at about 1.06 against the dollar through the end of this year, so a further decline in value should not be expected. Furthermore, the expanded stimulus program of the European Central Bank (ECB) will be announced on Thursday, which will likely prove a boon to exporters as it will help the European recovery gain traction.
Turkey is in discussions with the European Commission (EC) about upgrading the customs union agreement with the country. This too will help exporters in the future, Büyükekşi said.
An exchange rate effect worth $11.9 billion
Büyükekşi stressed that the dollar has been increasing against other currencies in line with global data. While exports have decreased in quantity since foreign trade figures are reported in dollars, there is a regression in exports in terms of currency. "On the other hand, the decrease in raw material prices is pushing unit prices down. We would like to highlight the importance of the parity's effect here," Büyükekşi said. He added that the euro-to-dollar exchange rate decreased 13.6 percent when compared to November of last year and by 16.9 percent in the first 11 months of this year. This drop caused exports to decrease by $750 million in November and by $11.9 billion in the first 11 months of 2015.