Turkey’s exports decreased by 0.8 percent last year to $142.6 billion compared to 2015 amid fluctuations in parity and low petrol and commodity prices, according to data from the Exporters’ Assembly of Turkey (TIM) on Tuesday.
Mehmet Buyukeksi, TIM chairman, said: “We suffered a lot from parity, low commodity and petroleum prices, problems in Russia, Iraq, Libya and Syria this year.
“We lost almost $8.7 billion worth of exports in 2016 due to these problems only.
“If these problems did not exist, we’d have exported around $150.8 billion with a five percent increase.”
Turkey’s average export unit price per kilogram declined to $1.37 in 2016 from $1.44 in 2015, according to TIM data.
“The loss in the country’s exports due to the decline was $3.5 billion in 2016,” Buyukeksi added.
Buyukeksi said the exporters’ group had declared 2017 as a “leaping point” for exports. Buyukeksi said it estimated the 2017 export figure to be $155 billion, $1.7 billion above the country’s Medium-Term Program.
“We can proudly say, Turkey’s share of world trade hit a record and increased to 0.89 percent last year [from] 0.87 in 2015. Turkish exports’ share in EU imports also reached 1.28 percent, marking another record,” he added.
The automotive sector was the biggest exporter last year with around $23.9 billion in exports, up from $21.3 billion in 2015.
The second-largest exporting sector — clothing — also witnessed a slight increase in exports last year compared to the previous year, closing 2016 at almost $17 billion.
Turkey’s exports to Russia also decreased to $1.8 billion from $3.7 billion. To Iraq Turkish exports fell to $7.2 billion from $8.3 billion, according to TIM data.
In December, 45.5 percent of all exports — $5.6 billion — went to EU countries. Germany is the leading export partner, with a 3.7 percent increase in the month.
According to Turkey’s Customs and Trade Ministry on Monday, overall imports in 2016 fell by 4.17 percent to $198.6 billion from $207.23 billion in 2015.
The trade deficit for the year was $55.97 billion, down 11.74 percent compared to $63.41 billion in 2015.