Turkey trade gap narrows as exports grow post-COVID-19 lockdown

Turkey’s foreign trade deficit narrowed by an annual 17 percent to $2.84 billion in June, the Trade Ministry said on Thursday, citing preliminary data.

Exports rose by an annual 16 percent to $13.5 billion, outpacing an increase in imports, which grew by 8.2 percent to $16.3 billion, the ministry said on its website.

Turkey has forecast a revival in exports after European countries, the main market for its goods, eased restrictions on population movements and businesses in place since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Exports increased by 35 percent month-on-month in June, showing a strong revival, Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan told the state-run Anadolu news agency in an interview.

Turkey is seeking to increase its hard-currency earnings to alleviate pressure on the lira and spur an economic revival. Its tourism industry, which posted record income of $34.5 billion last year, remains largely shuttered due to European Union travel warnings.

Britain is expected to announce this week that holidaymakers can fly to Turkey without the need to quarantine on their return, the Daily Telegraph reported on Thursday.

The lira hit a record low of 7.269 per dollar in early May. It weakened less than 0.2 percent to 6.85 per dollar on Thursday, taking losses this year to around 13 percent.