Turkey’s trade gap widens as exports and imports rise in first quarter of 2018

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Turkey’s exports in the first quarter of 2018 reached $41.2 billion, up 8.9 percent from the same period in 2017, while imports rose to nearly $62 billion, up 22.7 percent, according to Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) data released on April 30.

The figures indicated a rising foreign trade deficit in the period, up to $20.7 billion.

The percentage of imports covered by exports from January to March was 66.5 percent, according to the TÜİK data.

Turkey’s foreign trade volume reached $103 billion in the first three months of 2018, an annual rise of 17 percent, the data stated.

Exports to EU countries, the country’s main trading partner, climbed 21.4 percent to $21.3 billion during the same period.

Some 51.8 percent of total Turkish exports were delivered to EU countries from January to March this year, up from 46.5 percent in the same quarter of 2017.

TÜİK said Germany was Turkey’s top export market, at $4.2 billion, with a 10.2 percent share of total exports, followed by the U.K with $2.63 billion, Italy with $2.56 billion, and Iraq with $2 billion.

Turkey imported the most from China ($6.03 billion), Russia ($6 billion), Germany ($5.4 billion) and the U.S. ($3 billion) in the same period.

The manufacturing industry represented the lion’s share of total exports at 93.6 percent, followed by agriculture and forestry (3.6 percent), and mining and quarrying (2 percent).

The share of high technology products in manufacturing industry exports was 3.4 percent while exports’ share in medium-high and low technology products were 36.9 and 26.2 percent respectively.

Last month, Turkey’s exports rose 7.7 percent year-on-year to reach $15.6 billion, while imports climbed to $21.4 billion – a 12.7 percent hike.

“In March 2018, the foreign trade deficit was $5.86 billion with a 28.8 percent increase compared with March 2017,” TÜİK stated.

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