News ID: 99608
Publish Date : 02 February 2022 - 21:27

Turkey’s January Trade Deficit Soars 240%

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey’s trade deficit jumped 240.7% year-on-year in January to $10.44 billion, the Trade Ministry said on Wednesday, mainly due to energy imports that nearly quadrupled compared to a year ago.
President Tayyip Erdogan is seeking a shift to a current account surplus under his government’s sweeping new economic policy, which is focused on low interest rates and stronger exports and credit - despite soaring inflation.
January exports climbed 17.3% to $17.59 billion, the data from the ministry showed, while imports jumped 55.2% year-on-year to $28.03 billion, including $9 billion worth of energy imports.
Turkey’s energy imports, which stood at $2.6 billion in January last year, began rising at the end of last year due to higher consumption and the rise in global energy prices. They stood at $7.2 billion in December.
The rise in exports was driven by a 57.8% jump in iron and steel exports, while machinery and boiler exports rose 2.5% and automotive exports increased 1.2%.
Turkey is almost completely reliant on energy imports from Russia, Azerbaijan and Iran to meet its needs. Iran cut natural gas flows last month due to a technical failure, leading to reduced power and gas supply for industrial zones in Turkey.
In the wake of a series of central bank rate cuts, the lira plunged to an all-time low of 18.4 in December, before paring its losses. It ended the year down 44% against the dollar.
The foreign trade deficit shrank 7.5% year-on-year to $46.13 billion in 2021, data from the statistics institute showed on Monday, with exports jumping 32.8% and imports rising 23.6%.
However, there was a deterioration in December when the deficit surged 49% from a year earlier to $6.79 billion, the data showed.