Turkey's foreign trade deficit fell 72.5 percent to $2.5 billion in January compared to the same month in 2018, official figures showed yesterday.
According to the special trade system, the country's exports rose 5.9 percent year-on-year in the month to reach $13.17 billion, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said.
Meanwhile, imports posted a significant decrease, down 27.2 percent to reach $15.67 billion in January on an annual basis. The exports-to-imports coverage ratio was 84 percent last month, up from 60.1 percent in January 2018.
On the other hand, according to the general trade system, the country's exports reached $13.91 billion with a 6.3 percent increase in the first month of this year, while imports stood at $16.17 billion with a 27.1 percent decrease compared with January 2018. The exports-to-imports coverage ratio was 86 percent in the said month, according to the general trade system.
Foreign trade statistics are calculated by using two different trading systems, namely the special trade system and the general trade system. Turkey and member countries of the European Union publish foreign trade statistics according to the special trade system.
In the special trade system, data from customs warehouses and free zones are not included in statistics. However, goods entering in or leaving from the free circulation area of a country are covered. For this reason, goods sent from free zones and warehouses to the country and goods sent from the country to free zones and customs warehouses are covered in the calculations but trade between these regions and third countries aren't covered in the calculations.
In the general trade system, goods entering in or leaving from economic area of the country are covered in statistics. In the general trade system, goods entering in free zones, customs warehouses and free circulation area which constitute the economic area of the country or leaving from these areas are covered in the calculations. In this context, the Turkish Statistical Institute will continue to publish detailed foreign trade statistics according to the special trade system.
Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign trade gap in 2018 narrowed 28.4 percent year-on-year to $55 billion last year, down from a $76.8 billion deficit in 2017. Turkish exports rose 7 percent on a yearly basis to hit $168 billion, as imports dropped to $223 billion, indicating a decrease of 4.6 percent.
The exports-to-imports coverage ratio advanced to 75.3 percent last year, up from 67.1 percent in 2017. In 2017, the country's exports were nearly $157 billion, while imports were at $233.8 billion.
TOP TRADE PARTNER: EU
Turkey's exports to the EU — making up over 50 percent of the country's exports rose 4 percent year-on-year to total $6.8 billion last month.
Exports to Asian and African countries were $3.2 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, in January. Meanwhile, Germany was Turkey's top export market, with some $1.3 billion worth of exports.
It was followed by the U.K. with $937 million, Italy with $783 million and Iraq with $630 million. Russia took the biggest share of imports to Turkey last month, with almost $1.7 billion. China followed with $1.46 billion, Germany with $1.2 billion, and the U.S. with $696 million.
Manufacturing sectors accounted for the lion's share of total exports, at 93.4 percent or $12.3 billion. Agriculture and forestry exports (nearly $515 million) had a 3.9 percent share, while mining and quarrying exports' share was 1.8 percent ($242 million).
The share of high technology products in manufacturing industry exports was 3 percent, while the export shares of medium-high and low technology products were 35.1 percent and 27.6 percent, respectively.
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