On Friday, the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) announced the March export data that Turkey's exports surged by 19 percent, reaching $13.616 billion in March. On Sunday, the Ministry of Customs and Trade, which provides data to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), also released the March data on Turkish exports. As the ministry report reveals, Turkish exports soared by 13.68 percent and reached $14.5 billion. Seeing almost a 6 percent difference between the data announced by the ministry and TİM, many may wonder the reasons for such a divergence. The difference mainly stemmed from the inclusion/exclusion of raw gold exports and a couple of other items when calculating export figures.
Speaking to Daily Sabah, TİM Chairman Mehmet Büyükekşi explained the reasons for the gap ensuing from the export data provided by TİM, the Ministry of Customs and Trade and TurkStat.
Büyükekşi recalled that according to the February export figures announced in Bursa on March 1, exports showed a 5.1 percent increase, reaching $11.2 billion in total, while TurkStat on Friday announced the February export figures as $12.1 billion with a1.9 percent shrinkage. Unlike TurkStat, TİM data excluded gold exports other than jewelry causing a very large part of the difference. Büyükekşi noted that while gold in unwrought or semi-manufactured forms, or in powder form (HS Code: 71.08) exports amounted to $1.5 billion in February last year, figures fell to $600 million this year. "Since TurkStat added this data on top of TİM figures, the state body announced a decline in exports," Büyükekşi added.
Moreover, providing information that elaborates on the reasons for the difference between the export data revealed by TİM, Turkstat and the Ministry of Customs and Trade, TİM officials stated that the difference between the declaration dates and the dates of actual export constitutes another reason for the divergence since the same transactions may be recorded on different dates by these institutions.
The supplying of fuel and catering services for the vehicles, particularly airplanes, is not recorded in the data of export items compiled by TİM. However, the Ministry of Customs and Trade and Turkstat include the same item provided by Turkish firms to, say, airplanes which fly abroad, which is another source of the gap between data announced by TİM and Turkstat.
Officials from the Ministry of Customs and Trade underscored that TurkStat acquires its data from the ministry and those export data include the gold exports, which TİM does not use as the TİM chairman said. Moreover, they also highlighted that the ministry uses processed data instead of including raw data in the calculation of exports, explaining the emergence of different data from these institutions.