According to figures prepared by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK- TurkStat) in cooperation with Turkey’s Ministry of Trade, Turkey’s foreign trade deficit was USD 2,137 million in March 2019, 63.7% lower than the figure for the same month of the previous year, and 0.6% lower than the figure for the previous month of February 2019.
Exports totalled USD 15,485 million and imports totalled USD 17,622 million in March 2019. The export figure was a 0.4% decrease and the import figure a 17.8% decrease on the figures for the same month of the previous year. The export figure was 14.1% up and the import figure 12% up on the figures for the previous month.
Turkey’s main export item in March 2019 was again road transport vehicles with USD 2,451 million, which is 15.8% of total exports. Automotive exports are followed by machinery with 9.4% of total exports. Turkey’s main import item in March 2019 was energy substances with USD 3,709 million, which is 21% of total imports, followed by machinery imports at 10.1% of total imports.
Turkey’s exports to the EU, Turkey’s main trading partner, were USD 7,540 million in March 2019, 5.4% lower than the figure for the same month of the previous year. The share of total Turkish exports to the EU was 48.7% in March 2019, compared with 51.3% in the same month of the previous year. Exports to the EU increased by 8.3% compared with the previous month of February.
Germany, the EU’s largest economy, was the leading recipient of Turkish goods in March 2019, with USD 1,403 million. UK followed with USD 855 million, Italy with USD 827 million, Iraq with USD 782 million, Spain with USD 767 million, and USA with USD 689 million.
Russia was the leading exporter to Turkey in March 2019 with USD 1,969 million, followed by Germany with USD 1,615 million, China with USD 1,405 million, USA with USD 940 million, Italy with USD 701 million, India with USD 653 million, and Iran with 623 million.
The percentage of imports covered by exports was 87.9% in March 2019, compared with 72.6% in the same month of the previous year.
In 2018, the trade deficit was USD 55,113 million, a 28.2% fall on the figure for the previous year. In 2018, exports increased by 7% to USD 167,934 million, and imports decreased by 4.6% to USD 223,047 million compared with the previous year.