According to figures prepared by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK- TurkStat) in cooperation with Turkey’s Ministry of Trade, and using the Special Trade System (STS) calculation method, Turkey’s foreign trade deficit was USD 2,500 million in August 2019, 1.1% higher than the figure for the same month of the previous year, but 22% lower than the figure of USD 3,204 million for the previous month of July 2019.
Exports totalled USD 12,523 million and imports totalled USD 15,024 million in August 2019. The export figure was a 1.5% increase and the import figure a 1.5% increase on the figures for the same month of the previous year. The export figure was 17.3% lower and the import figure 18.1% lower than the figures for the previous month of July 2019. The lower foreign trade activity in August was most probably due to the Eid al-Adha religious holiday in that month.
The trade deficit for the first eight months of 2019 was USD 20,581 million, a fall of 58.2% on the same period of the previous year. Total exports were USD 111,358 million, a 2.6% increase, and total imports were USD 131,939 million, an 16.4% fall on the figures for the same period of the previous year.
Turkey’s main export item in August 2019 was again road transport vehicles with USD 1,462 million, which is 11.7% of total exports. Automotive exports are followed by machinery with 9.7% of total exports. Turkey’s main import item in August 2019 was energy substances with USD 3,285 million, which is 21.9% of total imports, followed by machinery imports at 10% of total imports.
Turkey’s exports to the EU, Turkey’s main trading partner, were USD 6,022 million in August 2019, 7.6% higher than the figure for the same month of the previous year. The share of total Turkish exports to the EU was 38.8% in August 2019, compared with 45.4% in the same month of the previous year. Exports to the EU fell by 18.7% compared with the previous month of July. The fall in exports to the EU in August is clearly a one-off development as a result of the Eid al-Adha sacrificial holiday in August and its adverse effect on automotive production, a major export item to the EU.
Germany, the EU’s largest economy, was the leading recipient of Turkish goods in August 2019, with USD 1,118 million. UK followed with USD 1,026 million, Iraq with USD 641 million, the USA with USD 617 million, Italy with USD 578 million, and Spain with USD 576 million.
Russia was the leading exporter to Turkey in August 2019 with USD 2,030 million, followed by China with USD 1,422 million, Germany with USD 1,272 million, USA with USD 823 million, and Italy with USD 618 million.
The percentage of imports covered by exports was 83.4% in August 2019, compared with 83.3% in the same month of the previous year.
In 2018, the trade deficit was USD 55,126 million, a 28.2% fall on the figure for the previous year. In 2018, exports increased by 7% to USD 167,921 million, and imports decreased by 4.6% to USD 223,047 million compared with the previous year.
Using the General Trade System (GTS) calculation method of foreign trade, Turkey’s foreign trade deficit in August 2019 was USD 2,405 million, with exports of USD 13,161 million and imports of USD 15,566 million. The deficit for the first eight months of 2019 was USD 19,667 million.