Turkish foreign trade deficit almost triples in September

Turkey’s foreign trade deficit almost tripled in September as imports surged from a year earlier.

The trade gap widened by 189 percent from September last year to $4.83 billion for the month, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Friday.

Exports rose by an annual 23 percent to $20.8 billion, while imports climbed by 4.8 percent to $16 billion, the institute said.  

Investors in Turkey are looking for evidence that growth in the country’s trade deficit is slowing after the lira slumped to successive record lows against the dollar. Large deficits in recent months have led to a sharp deterioration in Turkey’s current account balance, which must be funded by cash, or inflows of foreign capital such as investment and spending on tourism.

The trade deficit in September meant that the gap for the first nine months of the year totalled $37.9 billion, an increase of 80 percent from the same period a year earlier, the institute said.

The lira extended a record low on Friday, trading at as low as 8.3531 per dollar. Losses for the year total 29 percent.