Turkiye: Foreign trade deficit continues to shrink in February

Türkiye’s foreign trade deficit continued to decline in February, the preliminary data from the Trade Ministry have shown.

The country’s foreign trade deficit declined by 42.3 percent last month to $7 billion, after shrinking more than 56 percent in January to $6.2 billion.

The economic program is working, said Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek, commenting on the latest trade data.

“Balancing in the economy continues. We expect a positive contribution to growth from net exports in the first quarter,” he wrote on the social media platform X.

The 12-month trailing foreign trade deficit declined from $122 billion in May last year to $93 billion in February, said Trade Minister Ömer Bolat.

“When the current account data for February will be released on April 13, we will probably see the current account deficit come at a little above $90 billion,” he said.

The $21.1 billion of exports in February marked an all-time record for that month, according to Mustafa Karatepe, the president of the Türkiye Exporters’ Assembly (TİM).

Exports declined significantly in February last year due to the earthquakes, Karatape said. “Thus, making a comparison with 2022 would be more realistic. Our exports were 6 percent higher compared to February 2022,” he said.

According to the ministry data, exports increased 13.6 percent year-on-year to hit $21.01 billion, while imports plunged 8.5 percent from February last year to $28.01 billion.

The export/import coverage ratio improved from 60.5 percent to 75.1 percent.

Excluding the energy imports, the coverage ratio was 89 percent.

Germany and the U.S. were the two largest export markets, with shipment of goods to those countries amounted to $1.7 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively. Italy ranked third at $1.16 billion, followed by Iraq at $1.08 billion.

The automotive was the biggest exporting sector, according to the data. The automotive exports increased nearly 20 percent annually to $3.13 billion. The chemicals industry ranked second at $2.6 billion, followed by apparel and confection at $1.5 billion. Exports by the steel industry soared 31 percent to $1.4 billion.

Imports from Russia and China stood at $4.16 billion and $3.44 billion, respectively.

In the first two months of 2023, exports climbed 8.5 percent from a year ago to $41.1 billion, while imports dropped 15.5 percent to $54.3 billion.

Consequently, Türkiye’s foreign trade deficit declined by 49.9 percent year-on-year in the January-February period to $13.2 billion.

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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