Turkey trade deficit shrinks to smallest since global crisis

Turkey posted the smallest foreign trade deficit since the aftermath of the global financial crisis ten years ago as the lira’s slump pared demand for imports.

The deficit decreased an annual 59 percent in August to $2.42 billion. Exports fell 6.5 percent to $12.4 billion, while imports slumped 22.7 percent to $14.8 billion, the Turkish Statistical Institute said on Friday. Exported goods covered 83.6 percent of imports compared with a rate of 69.1 percent in August 2017.

Turkey’s trade deficit is narrowing after the lira slumped almost 40 percent against the dollar this year, rendering imports more expensive and exported goods cheaper. Still, about 70 percent of materials used in exports are imported from other countries, limiting the positive effect of the lira’s decline on export prices.

Seasonally and calendar-adjusted exports increased by 4.8 percent compared with August 2017, while imports fell by an annual 10.6 percent. The adjustment becomes significant because it takes account of a one-week religious holiday during August this year that didn’t occur 12 months earlier.

Turkey's main export partner during August was Germany, followed by the United Kingdom, Iraq and the United States.

Turkey trade deficit