Turkish foreign trade deficit widens as imports climb

Turkish imports rose an annual 18.96 percent to $19.23 billion in January, according to preliminary data from the Trade Ministry.

Exports rose year-on-year by 6.1 percent to $14.76 billion in January, bringing the foreign trade deficit to $4.46 billion, compared to $4.3 billion in December, the ministry’s website said.

Turkey is recovering from a currency crisis in 2018 that knocked nearly 30 percent off the lira’s value against the dollar that year and ravaged consumer demand. By mid-2019, the economic downturn had helped balance the economy and the country recorded a foreign trade surplus, but that trend reversed late in the year, with a deficit of $2 billion reported in November.

The nearly $34 billion trade volume in January amounts to a 13-percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Motor vehicles were Turkey’s most exported product in January, with exports increasing by nearly 5 percent that month to account for $2.13-billion-worth of exports.