Turkey’s Foreign Trade Deficit Spikes, Imports from Russia Double

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Astana, Kazakhstan, October 2022. Photo: EPA-EFE/VYACHESLAV PROKOFYEV / KREMLIN / SPUTNIK

The TurkStat figures show that in the January-December 2022 period, imports had a value of $363.71 billion, a 34 per cent increase on the previous year. Imports from Russia have doubled in value.

Meanwhile exports had a value of $254.17 billion, a 12.9 per cent increase compared with January-December 2021. According to observers, in addition to the impact of the war, the cheap Turkish lira and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's policies to boost exports to ease the effects of the country's economic crisis resulted in these figures.

This amounted to the highest foreign trade deficit in the history of modern Turkey - $109.54 billion. It represents a 137 per cent increase on January-December 2021.

In the same period, the foreign trade coverage ratio was 69.9 per cent; in January-December 2021, it was 83.0 per cent.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and Ankara's ambiguous policy of supporting the Ukrainian army but not joining Western sanctions against Russia has had a significant impact, as Turkey has benefited by operating as a 'trade platform' between sanctions-hit Russia and the West, experts say.

In January-December 2022 period, the top country for imports to Turkey was Russia with $58.85 billion. Russia was followed by China with $41.35 billion, Germany with $24.33 billion, Switzerland with $15.34 billion and the US with $15.23 billion.

In 2021, Russia was second place for import to Turkey with nearly $29 billion, followed by China with $32.24 billion.

In the same period, Turkey's main partner country for exports was Germany with $21.15 billion.


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