The upward trend in Turkey's exports maintained its course in the first quarter of this year as exports hit the highest-ever January-March figure with $44.5 billion, according to data released by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM).
Exports in the first quarter of the year surged by 3.34 percent year-on-year, according to the general trade system (GTS), Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said Thursday at a news conference in the capital Ankara. Over the same period, Turkey's imports amounted to $50.5 billion with an annual decline of 21.46 percent.
"The exports-to-imports coverage ratio, which is a very important indicator here, also reduces our external financing need. While the ratio was 73 percent in March 2018, this figure stood at 89.3 percent in March of this year. The ratio, which was 67.1 percent in the first three months of last year, reached 88.2 percent in the same period of this year," said Pekcan.
Turkey's foreign trade deficit declined to $15.2 billion in the three-month period, according to the minister.
Pekcan also said Turkey's exports also saw an all-time monthly high in March, rising by 0.5 percent on a yearly basis to $16.3 billion. "Imports in March fell 17.8 percent year-on-year to $18.3 billion, according to the general trade system," she said.
The minister noted that the country's foreign trade balance in March posted a deficit of $1.96 billion, improving from a $6 billion deficit a year ago.
In the calculation of foreign trade statistics, two different methods are used – the special trade system (ÖTS) and the GTS. Calculations based on the special trade system do not include free zones and customs warehouses.
The minister said according to the special trade system, the country's exports in the said month stood at $15.49 billion.
The general trade system is a wider concept, including customs warehouses, all types of free zones, free circulation areas and premises for inward processing.
At the end of every month, Turkey's statistical authority releases the final foreign trade figures for the previous month, as the ministry of trade announces preliminary general trade system data in the first week of every month.
Among others, Minister Pekcan also elaborated on current global developments, emphasizing that foreign trade is affected by the global economy, but that it is also a factor that affects the global economy.
"The ratio of global trade to the global economy is decreasing. Protectionist measures continue to increase. Unfortunately, in the last month, there has been no positive development in any of the factors we name as uncertain in the global economy. The U.S.-China trade dispute, the slowing European economy and the Brexit uncertainty continue to affect global trade negatively. In short, the winds in the global economy have slowed down, the sails of the exporting countries are no longer inflating as before, but we have to continue our journey rapidly, and we are," she said.
Automotive champion among sectors
Also addressing the conference, TİM Chairman İsmail Gülle said that the automotive sector was the champion sector in exports in March with $2.9 billion, followed by chemicals with $1.8 billion and ready-made and garment with $1.7 billion.
When looking at the sectors that increased their exports the most in March, Gülle said defense and aerospace led the way with an increase of 95.5 percent, followed by the ship and yacht sector with 25.8 percent and cement and soil products with 18.9 percent.
Furthermore, the TİM chairman said exports in March were made to 221 countries and regions, adding that exports to 111 countries increased and that exports to 27 countries registered an increase of over 100 percent.
Germany top destination
Gülle said the share of the country's biggest trade partner, the European Union, in the country's exports stood at 48.9 percent.
According to official data, Germany was the top destination for Turkey's exports, followed by the U.K., Italy, Spain and the U.S.
According to the ÖTS, exports to Germany reached about $1.39 billion, while exports to the U.K. and Italy stood at $853 million and $840 million, respectively.
Russia was Turkey's key import market with $1.965 billion, followed by Germany with $1.62 billion and China with $1.4 billion.
On the other hand, according to the GTS, the highest exports in March were to Germany ($1.5 billion), followed by the U.K. ($899 million) and Iraq ($894 million). Russia was the top import market with around $2.1 billion, followed by Germany with $1.698 billion and China with $1.426 billion.
Some 47 provinces were able to increase their exports in March, according to Gülle, who said Istanbul, Bursa and Kocaeli were the provinces that increased their exports the most.
The Turkish lira was used in exports to 174 countries, said the TİM chairman, who noted that the total figure increased by 49 percent year-on-year to TL 4.8 billion.
Meanwhile, Turkey's exports reached an all-time high of $168.1 billion, a 7.1 percent year-on-year increase in 2018, supporting the decrease in the foreign trade deficit by 28.4 percent to $55 billion. On the other hand, imports went down by 4.6 percent to $223.1 billion last year.
According to the government's new economy program announced in September last year, the country aims to reach $182 billion in exports by year-end.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.