Turkey’s trade deficit nearly doubles as energy imports soar

Turkey’s foreign trade deficit almost doubled in April, driven by high energy prices and a rise in imports, official data showed Tuesday.

The gap widened 98.5% year-over-year to $6.11 billion (TL 100.20 billion) in the month, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said.

Imports rose 35% year-over-year in April to $29.48 billion, while exports jumped 24.6% to $23.37 billion, the data showed.

Turkey’s top market in April was Germany with $2.2 billion, followed by the U.S. at $1.7 billion and the U.K. with $1.1 billion.

The top country for Turkey’s imports was Russia with $5.4 billion, followed by China at $3.2 billion, Germany with $2.8 billion and Italy with $1.7 billion.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent global commodity prices soaring,threatening to impact Ankara’s new economic program that aims to record a current account surplus.

Under the program unveiled last year, Turkey aims to shift to a current account surplus through stronger exports and low interest rates, despite soaring inflation and a weaker currency.

April energy imports rose 135% year on year and stood at $7.78 billion, the data also showed.

The overall energy import bill soared due to an increase in global energy prices and a revival in economic activity post-COVID-19 pandemic.

Energy accounted for 26.3% of Turkey’s overall import figures, the data showed.

Turkey imported 3.01 million tons of crude oil last month, up from 2.56 million tons in April 2021. The crude oil purchases showed a 17.6% increase compared a year ago.

In the January-April period, the trade deficit widened by 130% year-over-year, the TurkStat said.

The gap jumped to $32.55 billion in the four-month period from $14.15 billion a year ago.

Exports rose 21.6% year-over-year to $83.53 billion, while imports were up 40.2% to nearly $116.1 billion, the data showed.


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