Turkey posts smallest trade deficit of 2020 as import growth shrinks


Turkey reported the smallest trade deficit of the year in October, according to preliminary figures published by the government on Monday.

The deficit was $2.4 billion last month, half of September’s shortfall, as growth in imports slowed sharply, Trade Ministry data showed. It was the smallest trade gap since November 2019. The deficit peaked at $6.3 billion in August.

The Turkish lira slumped to successive record lows in October, rendering imports more expensive. Concern among investors and deposit holders for lax economic and monetary policy, which has widened the trade deficit this year, has increased selling pressure on the lira.

Imports rose by 8.5 percent to $19.7 billion in October. That compared with an annual increase of 23 percent to $20.8 billion in September.

Exports grew by 5.6 percent to $17.3 billion last month. Exports had expanded by 4.8 percent to $16 billion the previous month.

Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan said $2 billion of imports during October were in the form of gold. Imports in the first ten months of the year, excluding gold, have declined by an annual 5.1 percent to $155.4 billion, she said. Gold imports totalled $20.5 billion in the January to October period, she said.

Turks have bought up increasing amounts of gold this year due to concerns about the lira’s value. The currency hit a fresh record low of 8.4257 per dollar on Monday.



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