NEWS ECONOMY NEWS        31/03/2020

Turkey’s foreign trade deficit for February 2019 rises 72% to USD 3 billion

As from January 1st, 2020, it is clear that the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK- TurkStat) has decided to give precedence to the General Trade System (GTS) calculation method of foreign trade over the Special Trade System (STS) calculation method. TurkStat has accordingly prepared its detailed statistical data for foreign trade based on the GTS method back to and including the year 2013. TurkStat has also continued to prepare foreign trade figures according to the STS method, but is likely to discontinue presentation of STS data at some time in the future. For this reason, our website has decided to analyse Turkey’s foreign trade data according to the GTS method as from January 2020, and visitors to our website should be aware that our analyses will be based on different data prior to and subsequent to 2019 yearend. 

 

As a reminder, there are broadly two approaches, closely linked with customs procedures, used for the measurement of international trade in goods. These are the general trade system and the special trade system. The general trade system (GTS) is the wider concept and under it the statistical territory includes customs warehouses, all types of free zones, free circulation area and premises for inward processing. The special trade system (STS), on the other hand, is a narrower concept. Customs warehouses, all types of free zones and premises for inward processing are excluded from the statistical territory by the strict definition of the special trade system; thus only imports and exports of the free circulation area are recorded.

 

According to figures prepared by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK- TurkStat) in cooperation with Turkey’s Ministry of Trade, and using the General Trade System (GTS) calculation method, Turkey’s foreign trade deficit was USD 2,981 million in February 2020, 72% higher than the figure for the same month of the previous year, but 33.8% lower than the deficit figure of USD 4,503 million for the previous month of January 2020. 

 

Exports totalled USD 14,653 million and imports totalled USD 17,634 million in February 2020. The export figure was a 2.3% increase and the import figure a 9.8% increase on the figures for the same month of the previous year. The export figure was 0.3% lower and the import figure 8.2% lower than the figures for the previous month of January 2020.

 

For the first two months of 2020, the trade deficit was USD 7,484 million, 86% higher than the figure for the same period of the previous year. Exports totalled USD 29,357 million and imports totalled USD 36,841 million in February 2020. The export figure was a 4.1% increase and the import figure a 14.3% increase on the figures for the same period of the previous year.

 

The trade deficit for the year of 2019 was USD 29,496 million, a fall of 45.4% on the same period of the previous year. Total exports were USD 180,848 million, a 2.1% increase, and total imports were USD 210,344 million, a 9% fall on the figures for the previous year.

 

Turkey’s main export item in February 2020 was again road transport vehicles with USD 2,177 million, which is 14.9% of total exports. Automotive exports are followed by machinery with 10% of total exports. Turkey’s main import item in February 2020 was energy substances with USD 3,136 million, which is 17.8% of total imports, followed by machinery imports at 10.5% of total imports. With regards the full year of 2019, automotive exports were 14.9% of total exports and energy substances imports were 19.8% of total imports.

 

Turkey’s exports to the EU, Turkey’s main trading partner, were USD 7,053 million in February 2020, 4.6% lower than the figure for the same month of the previous year. The share of total Turkish exports to the EU was 48.1% in February 2020, compared with 51.6% in the same month of the previous year. Exports to the EU decreased by 3.6% compared with the previous month of January. With regards the full year of 2019, Turkey’s exports to the EU were 48.7% of its total exports.

 

Germany, the EU’s largest economy, was the leading recipient of Turkish goods in February 2020, with USD 1,341 million. Iraq followed with USD 906 million, UK with USD 857 million, Italy with USD 766 million, the USA with USD 740 million, Spain with USD 652 million, and France with USD 639 million. With regards the full year of 2019, rankings were as follows: Germany (USD 16,624 million), UK (USD 11,281 million), Iraq (USD 10,224 million), Italy (USD 9,754 million), USA (USD 8,972 million), Spain (USD 8,141 million), and France (USD 7,946 million).

 

Russia was the leading exporter to Turkey in February 2020 with USD 1,714 million, followed by China with USD 1,712 million, Germany with USD 1,623 million, USA with USD 1,133 million, Iraq with USD 750 million, Italy with USD 744 million, France with USD 594 million, South Korea with USD 478 million, UK with USD 459 million, and India with USD 409 million. With regards the full year of 2019, rankings were as follows: Russia (USD 23,117 million), Germany (USD 19,279 million), China (USD 19,128 million), USA (USD 11,847 million), Italy (USD 9,349 million), France (USD 6,760 million), India (USD 6,635 million), South Korea (USD 5,777 million) and UK (USD 5,638 million).

 

The percentage of imports covered by exports was 83.1% in February 2020, compared with 89.2% in the same month of the previous year. With regards the full year, the percentage of imports covered by exports was 86% in 2019 compared with 76.6% in the previous year.

 

Using the Special Trade System (STS) calculation method of foreign trade, Turkey’s foreign trade deficit in February 2020 was USD 3,096 million, with exports of USD 13,927 million and imports of USD 17,023 million. The deficit for the full year of 2019 was USD 31,223 million, with exports of USD 171,481 million and imports of USD 202,703 million.



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