ANKARA: Turkey’s foreign trade gap surged 80.4 percent in July and exceeded $8.7 billion due to a steep rise in gold imports and a base effect that resulted from a failed coup last July. According to preliminary data from the Customs and Trade Ministry, which was released on Aug. 2, Turkey’s exports in July tallied $12.6 billion while the imports for the same month reached $21.4 billion in July. Exports in July increased by 28.7 percent and imports saw a 45.8 percent rise compared with the same month last year. According to the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TİM) data, which does not include the gold trade, the country’s July exports were $11.5 billion with a 31.2 percent year-on-year increase.
In July, Turkey exported $1.215 billion worth of items to Germany; the United Arab Emirates came in second with $1.098 billion and the United Kingdom was third with $810 million, according to the ministry data. Most imports to Turkey were from China, which was worth $2.133 billion. Germany followed with $1.828 billion and Russia was in the third spot with $1.789 billion. QNB Finansbank’s chief economist Gökçe Çelik told Reuters that the low base effect which resulted from last year’s failed coup has partially explained the high foreign trade gap in July. “We can also mention a gradual rise in gold imports and energy imports and some acceleration in domestic demand as other reasons,” Çelik added, as quoted by Reuters on Aug. 2.
The 12-month foreign trade gap hit $62.8 billion due to the significant rise in July. Sales of automobiles and light commercial vehicles in Turkey rose 40.6 percent in July from the previous year to 82,297 vehicles, data from the ODD industry association showed yesterday, as reported by Reuters. In the January-July period, sales fell 2.79 percent, the data showed. Meanwhile, the sector has been the top exporter of the country. Turkey’s automotive exports saw a 41.1 percent year-on-year increase in July, according to data from the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM). In July, the automotive sector contributed to the highest exports with $2.4 billion.