Turkey saved $50 billion from low oil prices

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 10.08.2016 23:16

Turkey has benefited from the decline in oil prices over the past three years, managing to save $50 billion in the import of oil over the same period.

Ata Yatırım, one of the leading financial institutions in Turkey, prepared a report on Turkey's oil imports. The report reveals through data collected that Turkey has been one of the biggest beneficiaries from the fall in oil prices over the past three years.

According to the report, the fall in oil prices since 2013 has decreased Turkey's total imports by $50 billion. Figures reveal that the current account deficit, which corresponded to 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2011, will drop to 4.4 percent in 2016 - which will offer a great opportunity for structural reforms.

Oil prices hovered around $100 and $120 per barrel for a long time before July 2014. However, they went into a decline with the expectations that supply would exceed demand, and stood at $57 at the end of 2014. The average price per barrel of Brent crude oil fell to $54 in 2015 from $99 in 2014. Because of the ongoing supply pressure and the gap between supply and demand, the average price of one barrel of Brent crude has stood at $42 since the beginning of 2016.

As an energy importing country that mainly purchases oil and natural gas, Turkey has been positively affected by the falling energy prices. Turkey's 12-month cumulative energy imports, which reached $60 billion in December 2012, gradually declined to $30 billion in June 2016. The ratio of energy imports to total imports dropped to 15.1 percent in June from the highest level of 25.2 percent in December 2012.

Especially due to the fall in energy prices, Turkey's 12-month cumulative current account deficit tumbled to $27 billion in May 2016 and its ratio to Gross National Product (GNP) was actualized at 3.9 percent.

Ata Yatırım specialists expect oil prices to continue to remain under pressure in the upcoming period. They estimate the price of crude oil will be around $45 per barrel and the ratio of current account deficit to GNP will stand at 4.4 percent in 2016.

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