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Turkey: Foreign trade deficit decreases over 70 percent in January

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Turkey’s foreign trade deficit fell 72.5 percent to $2.5 billion in January over the same month of 2018, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday based on official figures.

The country’s exports rose 5.9 percent year-on-year last month to reach $13.17 billion, according to the country’s statistics authority TurkStat.

Meanwhile, Turkish imports posted a significant decrease, down 27.2 percent to reach $15.67 billion in January, on an annual basis.

The exports-to-imports coverage ratio was 84 percent last month, up from 60.1 percent in January 2018.

In 2018, Turkey’s exports were $168 billion and imports $223 billion, creating a $55 billion foreign trade gap.

Turkey’s exports to the EU – making up over 50 percent of the country’s exports – rose 4 percent year-on-year to total $6.8 billion last month.

Exports to Asian and African countries were $3.2 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively, in January.

Meanwhile, Germany was Turkey’s top export market, with some $1.3 billion in exports.

It was followed by the UK with $937 million, Italy with $783 million and Iraq with $630 million.

Russia took the biggest share of imports to Turkey last month, with almost $1.7 billion.

China followed with $1.46 billion, Germany with $1.2 billion and the US with $696 million.

The manufacturing sector accounted for the lion’s share of total exports, at 93.4 percent, or $12.3 billion.

Agriculture and forestry exports (nearly $515 million) had a 3.9 percent share, while mining and quarrying exports’ share was 1.8 percent ($242 million).

The share of high technology products in manufacturing industry exports was 3 percent, while the export shares of medium-high and low technology products were 35.1 and 27.6 percent, respectively.

In August 2018, Turkey’s economy was hit by a currency crisis amid political tensions with the US, which led to a sharp depreciation of the lira to as much as 47 percent.

Since then, it has slightly rebounded from record lows, yet remains nearly 30 percent weaker than last year.

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