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Turkish merchandise exports in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 17.25%, compared to the previous year

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Developments in Turkey’s External Merchandise Trade in the First Quarter of 2021

After a continuing strong performance in the last quarter of 2020 (Figure1), Turkish merchandise exports amounted to 50 billion 23 million US dollars in the first quarter of 2021 with an increase of 17.25% compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, merchandise imports increased by 9.67% and reached 61 billion 67 million US dollars. Foreign trade volume in the first quarter of 2021 realized as 111 billion 91 million US dollars with a significant increase of 12.96% compared to same period of the previous year. In the first quarter of 2021, the export/import coverage ratio reached to 81.9% from 76.6% of the first quarter of 2020.

Despite the negative effects of the pandemic, exports started to recover in the third quarter of 2020 and realized as 43.3 billion US dollars. In the last quarter of the year, the growth phase started and the quarterly exports exceeded 50 billion US dollars for the first time and reached 51.3 billion US dollars, the highest quarterly Turkish export figure ever. This positive trend continued in the beginning of 2021. Merchandise exports exceeded $ 50 billion in the first quarter of 2021, showing all-time high first-quarter figure (Figure 2).

In March 2021, exports reached the highest monthly value (18 billion 985 million US dollars) in the history of the Republic of Turkey.

In the first quarter of 2021, according to the broad economic activities categories classification (BEC), the export value of intermediate, consumption and capital goods were 24 billion 567 million US dollars, 19 billion 511 million US dollars and 5 billion 681 million US dollars, respectively. In the same period of 2021, the import value of intermediate, capital and consumption goods were 46 billion 13 million US dollars, 8 billion 652 million US dollars and 6 billion 306 million US dollars, respectively.

In the first quarter of 2021, Turkey exported motor land vehicles (6 billion 592 million US dollars), machinery (4 billion 952 million US dollars) and iron and steel (2 billion 784 million US dollars) most. In the same period, mineral fuels and oils (8 billion 734 million US dollar), machinery (7 billion 345 million US dollars) and iron and steel (5 billion 734 million US dollars)   were what Turkey imported most.

In the first quarter of 2021, the number of exporter companies increased by 12.3% compared to the previous year and exceeded 63.900. The number of importer companies was 116.334 in the same period.

In the first quarter of 2021, the main export destination for Turkish exports was Germany representing an export value of 4 billion 627 million US dollars. Germany was followed by the USA and United Kingdom with 3 billion 91 million US dollars and 2 billion 841 million US dollars of exports, respectively. In the same period of 2021, the top origin for Turkey’s imports was China with 7 billion 252 million US dollars. The country was followed by Russia and Germany with 6 billion 94 million US dollars and 5 billion 450 million US dollars of imports, respectively.

Figure 1. Quarterly Export Volume Index (2014 Q1=100, SA)

Source: World Trade Organization

Figure 2. Turkey’s Quarterly Merchandise Exports (Billion US Dollar)

Source: Ministry of Trade and TURKSTAT

Figure 3. The Main Partners for Export and Import (Thousand US Dollar)

Source: Ministry of Trade and TURKSTAT


Source: Republic of Turkey Ministry of Trade Data
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