TODAYSZAMAN.COM – Trade gap narrows by 23.8 pct in first 4 months

Trade gap narrows by 23.8 pct in first 4 monthsTurkey saw its foreign trade deficit narrow by 23.

8 percent between January and April this year over the same period in 2013 as exports surged and imports declined, government data revealed on Friday.The deficit narrowed to $24.

5 billion in the first four months, according to data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat). The institute said exports grew by 85 percent between January and April of this year when compared to a year ago while Turkey imported 42 percent less products in the same period.

The decline in the trade gap comes on the heels of a weak lira against the US dollar and euro and a jump in sales to Turkey’s traditional exports market, the European Union.On a monthly basis, the country’s foreign trade gap declined to $7.

2 billion in April from $10.3 billion last year This was still above the trade gap figure economists estimated at $6.

55 billion for April. In April, imports declined 95 percent to $20.

6 billion, while exports increased 79 percent to $13.44 billion over the previous month, the TurkStat data showed.

Turkey’s top four countries for exports last month were Germany, Iraq, the United Kingdom and Italy, respectively, while the top four countries for imports were Russia, Germany, China and the United States, in that order Germany bought Turkish goods worth $1.26 billion in April while Turkey made its biggest purchase from abroad from Russia with $2.

13 billion. Germany has historically been a leading trade partner for Turkey, given the strong trade and investment ties between the two countries.

Thousands of Turkish-owned businesses operate in Germany, and Germany has large-scale production and manufacturing investments inside Turkey.Turkey’s foreign trade deficit traditionally arises predominantly from an import dependency on energy and intermediate goods, especially oil and natural gas.

Likewise, Russia is the biggest energy supplier for Turkey. Exports to the European Union increased by 20 percent in April over a year ago, rising from $4.

93 billion to $5.94 billion.

Turkey made 44.2 percent of its exports to EU countries in April 2014, while this share was 39.

6 percent in April 2013. The share of exports and imports of high-technology products stood at 38 and 14.

6 percent, respectively.The government seeks to curb domestic consumption and increase exports, as the former has contributed to Turkey’s large current account deficit (CAD), which is seen by the government as the primary weak area of the Turkish economy.

The Turkish lira, currently at a relatively stronger position against foreign currencies, plummeted following the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption probe, prompting a substantial interest rate hike in January, which partially stabilized the lira.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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