Turkey Posts Highest Trade Deficit Since 2018

Turkey recorded its widest monthly trade deficit since May 2018 in December as soaring energy prices drove import costs up and pandemic-induced bottlenecks slowed down key exports.

The December trade gap expanded 49.3 percent from a year earlier, amounting to $6.79 billion, data from the Turkish Statistical Institute showed on Monday. Exports covered 76.6 percent of total imports, down from 79.7 percent in 2020.

Monthly exports rose by 24.9 percent from 2020 to $22.3 billion while imports rose by 29.9 percent to $29.1 billion.

The increase in imports were driven by mineral oils, which went up 160.5 percent from a year earlier to $7.17 billion in December, and steel and iron, which rose 84.6 percent.

Key export sectors such as automobiles slowed down to 3.4 percent to $2.59 billion due to bottlenecks in shipments.

The deficit for the entire 2021 was $46.1 billion, 7.5 percent lower from a year earlier.

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