Turkey's exports, which have been increasing steadily for the last one-and-a-half years, soared 12.2 percent to reach $13.96 billion in May compared to the same month last year, hitting a new all-time monthly high, the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) announced Friday.
On a quantity basis, the country's exports increased by 3.8 percent to reach 10.5 million tons year-on-year in the month, TIM data showed.
May export figures were announced with the participation of Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci at Menderes Textile's garment factory in Sarayköy, Denizli.
TİM stressed that the country's 12-month exports also jumped 10.2 percent year-on-year to $161.7 billion.
The country exported goods worth $69 billion during the first five months of 2018, up 9.3 percent over the same period last year, according to TIM.
Turkey's exports were at $13.9 billion in April and $157.02 billion in 2017, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
This May, 19.8 percent of Turkey's exports came from the automotive sector at nearly $2.8 billion, up 7.9 percent compared to May 2017, TIM data showed.
Auto sector exports were followed by the clothing ($1.49 billion) and chemical products ($1.46 billion) sectors, it stressed.
Turkey's exports to Germany, Britain and Italy, Turkey's top trading partners, rose 9.76 percent, 12.51 percent and 23.32 percent, respectively, year-on-year in May.
The data also show the country's exports to its main export destination EU was $7.2 billion in the month.
Istanbul was the Turkish city exporting the most in May at $6.15 billion, followed by prominent industrial centers Kocaeli and Bursa with ($1.17 billion).
Minister Zeybekci said Turkey continued to receive results from the export and growth campaigns launched in 2016.
He stressed that data suggest that the real sector will enjoy mobility in production and investment that has not been observed in recent years.
Regarding growth rates to be announced June 11, the minister said that Turkey would see a growth rate of 7.5 percent in the first quarter.
"When we analyze capacity utilization rates, investment incentives and industrial manufacturing index, we predict that the Turkish economy will expand all year," he said. "With the outstanding performance of our exporters, Turkish exports will exceed $170 billion in 2018."
"We are taking steps to abolish the current deficit problem with our investments and exports," he added.
Zeybekci remarked that government support to exports last year has increased three-fold and that they have carried out the world's most ambitious investment incentive system, indicating that they want Turkey to become a country producing knowledge and technology, a country that has guaranteed the need for raw materials and intermediate goods and a country producing its own brands and patents.
TIM President Mehmet Büyükekşi, who announced the export figures for the last time, said, "As TIM, an association that represents 71,000 exporters in the country and employs 3.1 million people. We are trying to increase our exports with an accelerated performance. I will hand over my TIM presidency, which I have been carrying out with honor on behalf of my country and exporters for 10 years, to the General Assembly. That our last announcement is also a record statement makes us both happy and proud."
Büyükekşi said that the effect of parity on exports in May was $346 million, which is especially influenced by the fact that the euro/U.S. dollar parity is higher than last year.
Referring to the fact that there has been a serious speculative environment in exchange rates recently, he said that the Turkish lira has gone through a period in which it experienced a very fast value loss. He said they believe the new government to be formed and the high volatility in exchange rates Turkey has experienced recently will end due to measures taken by the country's central bank.
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