Ankara, Turkey - In a remarkable display of resilience and economic prowess, Turkey's exports reached an all-time high for the month of October, surging by 7.4% year-over-year to $22.9 billion (TL 651.19 billion). Simultaneously, the trade deficit experienced a significant reduction of 15%, as reported by Trade Minister Ömer Bolat on Monday.
Minister Bolat stated, "In October, our exports increased by 7.4% compared to the same month of the previous year and reached $22.9 billion. This marked the highest export value for October." He went on to underline that despite the challenges and adversities faced, Turkey's exports have consistently demonstrated growth month after month, following a strong performance in July, August, and September.
Bolat emphasized the paramount importance of export targets. He mentioned the government's ambitious goals of reaching $255 billion in exports by the end of this year, $267 billion in 2024, and a staggering $302.2 billion in 2026.
"For the period of January-October 2023, our exports reached $210.1 billion, surpassing the export value for the same period of the previous year by 0.3%," Bolat noted. The minister specifically highlighted significant categories that have performed exceptionally well, including motor vehicles, boilers and machinery, and electrical machinery and equipment, all exhibiting substantial increases, demonstrating a surge in value-added exports.
Bolat also noted the remarkable performance of service exports, aiming to exceed the $100 billion mark this year and targeting a milestone of $200 billion by 2028, capturing 2% of global service exports as outlined in the 12th Development Plan.
Turkey's 12-month rolling exports reached an impressive $254.8 billion as of October, surpassing the previous record of $254.2 billion recorded at the end of 2022.
On the other hand, imports increased by 1.3% in October, totaling $29.6 billion. Nonetheless, the country's foreign trade deficit narrowed by 15% to $6.7 billion in October, contributing to an increased exports-to-imports coverage ratio, which gained 4.4 percentage points to reach 77.3% last month.
Minister Bolat highlighted the positive effects of measures implemented by the Treasury, Finance Ministry, and Trade Ministry, which have contributed to the slowdown in energy imports. He pointed out that energy imports for the year amounted to $57.3 billion in the first 10 months, with an aim to keep total energy imports below $70 billion. Additionally, gold imports in October decreased by 36% year-on-year.
During the meeting, Mustafa Gültepe, the head of the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM), remarked, "When we look at both the 10-month and 12-month data, we have achieved the highest export values of all time."
He highlighted the sectors leading the October exports, with the automotive sector ranking first at $3.087 billion, followed by the chemical industry, ready-to-wear, electronics, and the steel sector.
Gültepe also revealed that Germany, Iraq, and the United States were the top three export destinations, closely followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Italy. Furthermore, he announced that export records were broken to seven countries, including Poland, Libya, Algeria, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), and Nigeria, reflecting Turkey's increasing global reach and competitiveness in international trade.