Turkey’s foreign trade deficit fell by 14.6% y/y to$8.5bn in December as exports rose by 1.2% y/y and imports dropped 5.6% y/y, according to data of the statistics office TUIK. The market had expected a foreign trade shortfall of $8.5bn.
Exports and imports amounted to $13.3bn, and $21.8bn in December, respectively, TUIK said on January 30. On a seasonally and calendar adjusted basis, exports rose 0.6% m/m after falling 3.8% m/ in the previous month while the adjusted imports that rose 9.7% m/m in November dropped 11.1% m/m in December.
Exports to the EU were up 1.8% y/y to $5.4bn while the Block’s share in Turkey’s exports edged up to 40.2% in December from 40% a year ago. Turkey’s exports to the EU amounted to $68.6bn in the whole of 2014, representing an 8.8% y/y increase from $63bn in 2013. Germany was the top export market with sales of goods to this county increasing 0.8% y/y to $1.2bn while full-year exports to Germany amounted to $15.2bn, a 10.6% y/y increase. Iraq retained its position as Turkey’s second largest export market but exports to this country were down 8.8% y/y to $1.1bn in the last month of the year. Sales of goods to Iraq in the whole of 2014 also fell by 8.8% y/y to $10.9bn.
TUIK data also showed that exports to Africa (9.3% share in total) decreased 5.5% y/y in December while fell 2.7% y/y to $13.8bn last year. Exports to the Middle East (26.2% share) rose by 9.5% y/y in December but fell 0.5% y/y to $35.4bn in 2014 as a whole.
Turkey spent $4.4bn on energy imports in December which was 15.2% lower compared to a year ago while the country’s energy bill fell 1.8% y/y to $54.9bn in the whole of 2014. Precious metal imports (mostly gold) dropped 52.3% y/y to $704mn but precious metal exports rose 54.4% y/y to $489.5mn. Last year, Turkey’s precious metal imports amounted to $8.1bn, representing a 50% y/y decline.
Turkey’s foreign trade deficit narrowed 15.4% y/y to $84.5bn in 2014. Exports rose only 3.9% to $157.7bn while imports fell 3.7% to $242bn.
The government forecasts $173bn exports, $258bn imports and $85bn foreign trade deficit this year. It expects energy imports to amount to $57.3bn in 2015, but this forecast was based on the assumption that oil prices would be around $102/per barrel.
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