Turkey’s foreign trade deficit fell 6.8% y/y to USD 6.8bn in January, the statistics institute TUIK said on Friday. This was lower than the markets’ deficit forecast of USD 7.3bn. The foreign trade shortfall was USD 9.92bn in December 2013.
Exports rose 8.6% y/y to USD 12.47bn, imports increased only 2.6% y/y to USD 19.29bn in January. These figures may be the first signs of a weaker TRY on Turkey’s foreign trade activities. Note that, exports and imports rose by 4.9% y/y and 16.7% y/y respectively in December.
The calendar-adjusted exports showed an 8.5% y/y increase while the seasonally & calendar adjusted shipments rose 4.5% y/y. The seasonally & calendar adjusted imports were down 1.2% m/m and they rose by 2.7% y/y in calendar-adjusted terms.
Turkey’s energy imports stood at USD 4.89bn in January, representing a 6.2% y/y rise while precious metals imports (gold) fell 41.3% y/y to USD 453mn. TUIK data showed that precious metal exports recorded a 22.1% y/y drop to USD 538mn. Gold imports have been one of the drivers behind Turkey’s large current account deficit.
Consumer goods imports rose by 10.1% y/y in the month. Capital goods imports were down 1.2%, intermediate goods imports increased by a weak 3.2% y/y, signalling that economic activity may have started to slow.
Turkey’s exports to the EU increased 13.7% y/y to USD 5.49bn in the month while the Block’s share in Turkey’s total exports rose to 44% from 42.1% a year earlier. Exports to the Middle East (a 22.6% share in total) increased by 5.1% y/y while shipments to North America (4.4% share in total) rose by 20.3% y/y. Turkey’s exports to Africa (9.3% in total) were up 8.4% y/y.
Turkey’s foreign trade deficit rose by 18.7% y/y to USD 99.78bn last year. The government forecasts a foreign trade deficit of USD 95.5bn for this year while it expects exports and imports to be USD 166.5bn and USD 262bn respectively.
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