Turkey’s foreign trade deficit declined by 46.6 percent to $3.7 billion in September compared to the same month of 2014 due to a dramatic decline in the country’s energy imports and a slowdown in the economy ahead of the elections, according to data released by the Turkish Statistics Agency (TÜİK) on Oct. 30 in cooperation with the Customs and Trade Ministry.
The deficit was announced as $49.02 billion in the first nine months of the year, a 20.2 percent decrease from the same period of last year.
Turkey’s exports declined by 14.2 percent to $11.66 billion in September compared to the same month of 2014. The exports saw a 9.4 percent decline in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period of 2014, being announced at $107.29 billion. The country’s imports dropped by 25.2 percent in September to $15.4 billion compared to the same month of 2014. The imports were announced at $156.32 billion in the first nine months of the year, a 13.1 percent decrease compared to the same period of 2014, according to the TÜİK data.
Also according to the official data, Turkey’s energy bill decreased by 38.6 percent amid the oil plunge in September to $2.9 billion compared to the same month of 2014. The country’s energy imports were announced at $29.39 billion in the first nine months of the year, a decrease of around 30 percent from the same period of 2014.
As compared with the same month of the previous year, exports to the EU-28 decreased by 7.7 percent to $5.5 million in September. The proportion of exports to EU countries was 47.2 percent in September 2015, while it was 43.9 percent in September 2014. The main partner for exports was Germany, followed by the United Kingdom, Iraq and Italy, according to the official data.
Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) head Mehmet Büyükekşi said the global export trade had been hit by a slowdown and that Turkey was no exception, in a meeting on Oct. 1 to reveal TİM’s export figures for September.
Büyükekşi said the depreciation of the euro against the dollar had cut into the value of Turkish exports, as Europe is Turkey’s largest export market.
“In first nine months of the year, the euro lost 17.7 percent against the dollar. This decline cost our exporters $9.7 billion in the first nine months,” he said, while adding the long Eid holiday also had an impact over the decline in the country’s exports in September.
In September 2015, the top country for Turkey’s imports was China with around $2 billion, according to the TÜİK data, followed by Germany, Russia and the U.S.