Turkish exports have increased for a second straight month in March, according to data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) on Friday. In March, Turkish exports increased by 2.6 percent year-on-year, according to TİM.
Exports totaled $11.5 billion last month and reached $33.4 billion in the first three months of the year, representing a decline of 9.8 percent compared to the same period last year, according to TİM. Turkey's total exports within the last 12 months stood at $140.3 billion, down 9.2 percent compared to the previous 12 months.
Commenting on the rising trend in Turkey's export performance in February and March, Economy Minister Mustafa Elitaş said that the start of this trend means being closer to achieving Turkey's 2016 export target. According to the Medium-Term Economic Plan (MEP), the export target set for this year is $155.5 billion. Elitaş also drew attention to the fact that industrial exports rose by 3.5 percent and reached to $9.5 billion in March. He noted that, therefore, it is possibly that Turkey's future is bright, since approximately 80 percent of its total exports consist of industrial goods.
"The exports' data for the month motivated our exporters. In order to continue seeing such successes, we have taken some important steps for new markets," said TİM head Mehmet Büyükekşi, who accompanied Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his current visit to the U.S.
The largest volume of exports in March was made in the country's automotive industry worth $2 billion, followed by the ready-made clothing sector with $1.5 billion and the chemical materials and products sector with $1.14 billion, according to data released by TİM.
Exports to EU countries have increased by 14.9 percent, while Turkey's exports to Africa decreased by 6.5 percent in March year-on-year. Turkey's exports to North America and the Middle East, however, have decreased by 1.7 and 1.6 percent respectively, according to the TİM's data.
Germany, Italy, the U.S., the U.K. and Iraq were Turkey's largest export markets last month.
The largest increase in exports from among Turkey's top 30 markets was the United Arab Emirates with an increase of 482.5 percent, followed by Iceland with a 252.7 percent increase.