Turkey’s foreign trade deficit shrinks 12% in 2016

By bne IntelliNews January 31, 2017

Turkey’s foreign trade shortfall declined by 11.7% y/y to $56bn last year, driven by a 4.2% reduction in imports, data from national statistics office TUIK showed on January 31.

Exports were down 0.9% y/y to $142.6bn while imports amounted to $199mn.

Thanks to cheaper oil prices, the country’s energy import bill shrank by as much as 28.2% y/y to $27.2bn in 2016.

Exports to the EU, Turkey’s largest trading partner, showed a 6.8% y/y increase to $68.3mn last year, while shipments to the Middle East, which accounted for a 22% share in total exports, rose by 0.7% y/y to $31.3bn.

Turkey’s exports to Russia fell by 51.7% y/y to $1.7bn last year, reflecting the impacts of the sanctions Moscow imposed after the downing of a Russian attack aircraft by Turkish jets near the Syrian border in November 2015. Shipments to Russia, however, dropped only 9.1% y/y to $205mn in December, in a sign that trade with Russia might finally be improving.

TUIK reported that the country’s total exports in December increased 9% y/y to $12.8bn while its imports were up 2.3% y/y to $18.4bn, resulting in a foreign trade deficit of $5.6bn for the month - 10.3% lower than the shortfall registered in the same month of 2015.

Exports were expected to rise more than 10% in January, Turkey’s Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said last week. And preliminary data seem to confirm this expectation. The figures compiled by the business daily Dunya show that exports rose by 20.2% y/y to $8.7bn between January 1 and January 26.  

The government forecasts a foreign trade deficit of $60.7bn for this year with exports reaching $153bn and imports amounting to $214bn.

Turkey's Foreign Trade
  Exports y/y Imports y/y Deficit y/y
  ($ bn) (%) ($ bn) (%) ($ bn) (%)
2008 132.0 23.1 202.0 18.8 -69.9 11.4
2009 102.1 -22.6 140.9 -30.2 -38.8 -44.5
2010 113.9 11.5 185.5 31.7 -71.7 84.8
2011 134.9 18.5 240.8 29.8 -105.9 47.8
2012 152.5 13.0 236.5 -1.8 -84.1 -20.6
2013 151.8 -0.4 251.7 6.4 -99.9 18.8
2014 157.6 3.8 242.2 -3.8 -84.6 -15.3
2015 143.8 -8.7 207.2 -14.4 -63.4 -25.0
2016 142.6 -0.9 198.6 -4.2 -56.0 -11.7
Source: tuik

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