Turkey’s foreign trade deficit soared 108.8 percent in January compared to the same month of 2017, reaching $9.06 billion, according to data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK).
According to provisional data produced with the cooperation of TÜİK and the Customs and Trade Ministry in January, exports were $12.5 billion with a 10.7 percent increase and imports were $21.5 billion with a 38 percent increase compared with January 2017.
According to preliminary data from the Customs and Trade Ministry released on Feb. 2, the foreign trade gap soared in January mainly due to a significant rise in gold imports and energy costs.
The biggest import item in January was energy, according to the ministry data. Turkey imported energy products worth $3.63 billion in the first month of 2018, with a 13.25 percent yearly increase.
Among the largest five import items, precious metals ranked the second and saw the steepest year-on-year increase in imports. Turkey imported $2.37 billion worth precious metals in January, with a 363 percent year-on-year increase.
TÜİK data on Feb. 28 showed that exports to the EU28 countries, Turkey’s main trading partner, climbed 23.1 percent to $5.2 billion.
The proportion of EU countries was 52.3 percent in January 2018, while it was 47 percent in January 2017, TÜİK stated.
Germany was the top export market with $1.34 billion, a 10.8 percent share of total exports, followed by the U.K. with $747 million, Italy with $742 million, and Iraq with $639 million.
In the same period, Turkey imported the most from China ($2.18 billion), Russia ($2.05 billion), Germany ($1.63 billion), and the U.S. ($1.12 billion).