Turkey’s foreign trade deficit widened 31.8% y/y to USD 7.38bn in October versus market consensus forecast of USD 7.35bn (Reuters poll).
Exports were down 8.2% y/y USD 12.1bn (market estimate: USD 12.38bn) but imports rose 3.7% y/y to USD 19.48bn (market estimate: USD 19.52bn).
The calendar adjusted exports fell 4.7% y/y while calendar adjusted imports rose 11.7% y/y. On a seasonally & calendar adjusted basis, exports dropped 3.9% m/m and imports rose 5.8% m/m, data of the statistics institute showed.
Turkey’s ten month foreign trade deficit also widened 18.5% y/y to USD 82.6bn. Exports fell 1.2% y/y to USD 124.5bn in January-October while imports recorded a 5.8% y/y rise, amounting to USD 207.1bn.
Consumer goods imports increased by 8.4% y/y in October, capital goods imports were up 8% y/y and intermediate goods imports rose 2% y/y.
Precious metals (gold) exports continued to decline; they plunged 74.9% y/y to USD 379mn in October but their imports soared 137% y/y to USD 868. Turkey’s energy imports fell 9.6% y/y to USD 4.5bn in October and in the first ten months of the year energy import bill shrank 7.5% y/y to USD 45.9bn.
The loosening of some trade sanctions on Iran, following a deal reached between Tehran and world powers on Iran’s nuclear programme may boost Turkey’s gold-for-oil trade with Iran. Border trade with this country may also thrive again. Turkey’s exports to Iran plunged 60.6% y/y to USD 3.7bn in January-October and shipments to this country fell 18.7% y/y to USD 266mn in October alone.
Turkey’s exports to the EU rose only 0.2% y/y to USD 5.3bn in October and the Block’s share in Turkey’s total exports increased to 43.8% from 40.1% a year ago.
Exports to Africa (7.7% share in total exports) plunged 22% y/y in October while shipments to the Middle East (22.5% share in total) fell 9.7% y/y. Turkey’s exports to the Americas (6% share) dropped 15.6% y/y.
The government will introduce new measures to curb what it calls the excessive use of credit card and loan growth. These measures may help curb demand and in return limit import growth. Consumer confidence rose for a second consecutive month in October. The consumer confidence index, which had increased 4.8% m/m in October, rose 2.6% m/m in November. New measures on credit card instalments and loans are expected to affect consumer sentiment in the coming period.
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