ISTANBUL: Turkey’s trade deficit widened by 37.5% in 2017 to $77.1 billion, data from the country’s customs and trade ministry showed. The country’s foreign trade volume accounted for $391.3 billion, rising 14.7% in the January-December 2017 period, according to ministry data, Hurriyet Daily reported.
In the month of December 2017, the trade deficit rose 71.4% year-on-year to $9.6 billion, with exports rising 8.6% to $13.9 billion but imports up 27.7% to $23.45 billion.
Over the course of 2017, exports rose 10.2% to $157.1 billion, the second-highest export volume in the history of the Turkish Republic, according to the provisional data from the ministry. Turkey’s highest export figure was recorded in 2014 at $157.6 billion.
Turkey exceeded its export target of $156.5 billion cited in the medium-term economic program by year’s end.
The automotive sector again became the country’s top exporter with exports worth $23.9 billion, followed by the machinery sector and the clothing sector with exports worth $13.8 billion and $8.8 billion respectively.
The Turkish economy expanded beyond forecasts in the first quarter (5.3%), second quarter (5.4%), and third quarter (11.1%) of 2017, according to the Turkish Statistics Institute.
Imports, meanwhile, climbed by 17.9% to $234.2 billion in 2017. Turkey’s most imported item was mineral fuels and oil, worth $37.2 billion in 2017.
In 2017, Turkey’s exports to Germany were worth $15.1 billion in total, followed by exports to the United Kingdom worth $9.6 billion and to Iraq worth $9.1 billion.
The largest exporter to Turkey was China with exports worth $23.4 billion, followed by Germany with exports worth $21.3 billion and Russia with exports worth $19.6 billion.
In the month of December 2017 Turkey made most exports to Germany, worth $1.3 billion, followed by exports to the U.K. worth $832 million and to Italy worth $775 million.
Turkey imported most from Germany in December 2017, worth $2.2 billion, followed by imports from China worth $2.1 billion and from Russia worth $1.9 billion.