TODAY’S – 2014 sees export growth but falls short of target

2014 sees export growth but falls short of targetIn spite of the fact that Turkish exports in 2014 showed an increase of 41 percent year-on-year and totaled $157.6 billion, the total volume did not reach the target of $160.

5 billion, the figure announced in the governmentand#39s Medium-term Economic Program (OVP) early in OctoberIn 2013 the government set the target for the total export volume in 2014 at $166.5 billion.

Since then, this figure was reduced to $160.5 billion amid regional developments in neighboring countries.

Nonetheless, recent figures released by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) revealed that Turkey fell short of reaching even the revised target.According to data announced by TIM President Mehmet BuyukekIi on Jan.

1 at a press conference, Turkish exports in December also registered a rise of 11 percent this year compared to December 2013 to reach $13.1 billion.

BuyukekIi stated that regional and geopolitical developments have had a 4 percent negative impact on the countryand#39s exports, adding that if such developments had not emerged, Turkish exports would have increased by around 8-9 percent and constituted a 1 percent increase in Turkeyand#39s yearly growth rate.Highlighting that limited growth is predicted for the world economy in 2015, BuyukekIi stressed that economic conditions in 2015 may be as tough as they were in 2014, maintaining that Turkish exporters should be prudent yet optimistic about new opportunities in the new year BuyukekIi also opined that the cost of borrowing may be pushed upward in 2015 as a result of financial flow to developed countries such as the US, whose Federal Reserve is expected to raise the interest rate amid increasing growth.

Warning about currency fluctuations, BuyukekIi also called on Turkish exporters to hedge their risks against the possibility of unfavorable conditions stemming from instability in foreign exchange markets. BuyukekIi also said Turkey increased its share by 4 percent in world trade to 25 percent despite regional developments that have been impacting Turkey negatively.

Mentioning plummeting oil prices in the world, he added that Turkey can make use of this opportunity and may decrease its current account deficit by around $15-20 billion.According to BuyukekIiand#39s statement, Turkeyand#39s automotive sector ranked number one in exports, generating $22.

3 billion in 2014. Exports from the textile sector ranked number two, providing $18.

7 billion, and were followed by the chemicals sector at $17.8 billion.

The greatest increase recorded in 2014 was in jewelry exports with 38 percent, while nut exports came in second place with 31.2 percent and tobacco products third with 18.

7 percent.Trade with Israel in full swingThough Turkish officials have repeatedly denied having boosted trade with Israel in recent years, TIMand#39s data show that Turkish exports flowing through Israel rose by 10 percent year-on-year in 2014 and reached $2.

9 billion.Turkeyand#39s top five export partners in 2014 were Germany, Iraq, the UK, Italy and France.

Exports to Germany increased by 11.3 percent, while UK-bound exports grew by 12.

6 percent. Meanwhile, increases in exports to Italy and France were 74 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

Exports to Iraq, however, dropped sharply by 10.1 percent in 2014 compared to 2013 as a result of regional developments such as the aance of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants.

A decline in exports through Iraq is likely to affect southeast Turkey the most, as 60 percent of regional exports go through Middle Eastern countries.In addition, political and economic turmoil in Ukraine and Russia seems to have taken a heavy toll on Turkish exports to Russia According to the same data, Russia-bound exports showed a decline of 14.

6 percent to total $6.5 billion in 2014.

Russia had been Turkeyand#39s fourth-largest export partner in 2013. However, it fell to seventh place in 2014.

Meanwhile, Turkish exports to Syria skyrocketed by 60.8 percent in 2014, marking the highest increase of any country among Turkeyand#39s top 30 export partners.

Syria was followed by Iran with a 57.4 percent increase and Turkmenistan with a 17.

9 percent rise in the same period. Though Turkey increased its exports to some African countries by over 200 percent year-on-year in 2014, they are not considered top trading partners since the volume of Turkish exports to those countries is so small.

Regarding country groups, Turkish exports to EU countries rose by 9 percent in 2014 and to Middle Eastern countries by 6 percent. While North American-bound Turkish exports increased by 16 percent, exports to African countries rose by 4 percent.

Nonetheless, Turkish exports to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) declined by 6 percent in the same period.The top 10 exporting provinces in Turkey in 2014 were Istanbul, Bursa, Kocaeli, Izmir, Ankara, Gaziantep, Manisa, Denizli, Sakarya and Hatay.

While Sakarya posted the highest rise among those 10 provinces with a 16.3 percent increase year-on-year, Manisa followed it with a 7 percent rise.

On the other hand, export numbers for Kocaeli and Bursa decreased by 28 and 08 percent year-on-year in 2014.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman