Turkey’s foreign trade deficit rose more than expected 15.3% y/y to $8.3bn in November as exports plunged and gold imports surged, data of the statistics office TUIK showed on December 31. The markets had expected a foreign trade deficit of $7.8bn. The 15.3% rise in deficit is the biggest y/y recorded this year.
Exports fell 7.5% y/y to $13.1bn in November, due to sluggish recovery in the European economy. Exports to the EU dropped 8.3% y/y to $5.7bn. The EU’s share in Turkey’s total exported was down to 43.7% from 44.1% a year ago. Sales of goods to Germany were down 7.8% y/y while exports to Iraq, the UK and Russia fell 22.3% y/y, 5.3% y/y, and 23% y/y, respectively. Exports to the Middle East (23.7% share in total) dropped 4.2% y/y in November. On a seasonally & calendar adjusted basis, exports fell 3.3% m/m.
Imports rose 0.2% y/y to $21.45bn in November. The 106.3% y/y increase in precious metals (mostly gold) to $2.1bn is especially striking while gold exports rose 33.9% y/y to $626mn. Consumer goods imports were down 13.5% y/y but intermediate goods imports showed a 4.1% y/y increase while capital goods imports fell 5.1% y/y. According to data of TUIK, Turkey paid $4.5bn for energy imports, representing a 6.3% y/y decline. In the first ten moths of the year, the country’s energy bill fell 0.3% y/y to $50.5bn. On a seasonally & calendar adjusted basis, imports rose 10% m/m in November after increasing 0.8% m/m in October.
Turkey’s foreign trade deficit narrowed 15.5% y/y to $75.97bn in January-November. Exports rose 4.2% y/y to $144.5bn while imports fell 3.5% y/y to $220.5bn.
The government foresees a foreign deficit of $83.5bn for 2014, down from $99.86bn last year.
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