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Turkey reports highest ever exports in December

Turkey reports highest ever exports in December

Turkey has closed 2020, a year overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, by achieving its highest December exports ever, the country’s trade minister announced Tuesday.

“Turkey’s exports have surged by 16% to an all-time monthly high of $17.84 billion in December,” Ruhsar Pekcan said during a year-end foreign trade evaluation meeting in the capital Ankara.

“Exports of $17.8 billion are a concrete indicator of Turkey’s strength and dynamism in foreign trade,” Pekcan noted.

The headline figure, despite the severe economic contraction and shrinking in foreign demand in the country’s main export markets, especially the European Union, is the exporters’ success, the minister stressed.

“I sincerely congratulate our exporters who have ensured that a difficult year such as 2020 is closed with such an important record.”

Imports came in at $22.4 billion last month with an 11.7% increase compared with the same month of the previous year. Additionally, gold-excluding imports totaled $20.3 billion in December, she stated.

Turkey’s export-to-import coverage ratio reached 79.6% last month, up from 76.7% in December 2019.

Foreign trade has shown significant resistance in 2020, clouded by the outbreak and other global and regional factors, Pekcan said.

She said global exports are expected to see a nominal decrease of 11.7% in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The drop in Turkey came in below this figure to stand at 6.3%, said the minister.

“Due to the pandemic, our exports declined to $32.4 billion in the second quarter of the year. In the third quarter of the year, they reached $ 43.3 billion with a rapid recovery of 33.8% compared with the previous quarter,” Pekcan said.

She noted that the last quarter of the year saw exports moving to the growth phase and coming above the level of $50 billion for the first time.

“Exports worth $51.2 billion in the last quarter have also marked the highest ever quarterly period,” Pekcan said.

Sales surged 18.4% quarter-on-quarter in the October-December period. Compared with the same period of last year, they were up 6.7%.

The country closed 2020 with $169.5 billion in exports, she said, exceeding the target of $165.9 billion in the medium-term program.

On the other hand, imports were up 4.3% and reached $219.4 billion. The exports-to-imports coverage ratio hit 77.3% in 2020.

“Turkey’s imports excluding gold stood at $194.2 billion, posting a decline of 2.4% during the same period.”

Turkish exports in 2019 were around $180.8 billion while imports totaled $210.3 billion.