Turkish exports dropped by 5.5 percent in July, to $10.85 billion, compared to the same month the previous year, the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) announced on Wednesday.
According to data provided by TİM, although the export volume decreased in July, total exports for the first seven months of the year represent an increase of 10.1 percent, to $85.2 billion. Moreover, total exports for the last 12 months exceeded $142.6 billion, a rise of 12.3 percent year-on-year. The data show that Turkey exported to 238 countries in the period from January to July, compared with 216 last year.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said that regardless of the decline, the ministry is working to achieve its goal of $150 billion in exports by the end of 2012. The statement relates the decline to the 22.3 percent contraction in the automotive sector in July compared to previous year. The statement reads that “the decline in automotive exports led to the 5.5 percent reduction in total exports for July.”
TİM data indicate that the automotive sector represented the largest share of exports in July at 13.5 percent, despite the contraction. In other sectors, agricultural exports increased by 4.6 percent in July compared to the same time last year, reaching $1.423 million, with a share in total exports of 13.1 percent. The mining sector increased its exports by 3.5 percent, to a 3.5 percent total share.
The biggest rise in July exports was seen in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, with 16 percent, followed by Ankara and Adana, with 3 percent each, and İzmir, with 2 percent.
Çağlayan further explained the cause of the decline as “the crises in Europe.” He continued: “Our exports to the EU were 47.7 percent of all exports in July of last year, but this dropped to 40.3 percent for July 2012. The decline in imports of countries such as Italy and Spain, which are experiencing economic hardship, have reached serious figures.” Stressing that the decrease in European demand has put pressure on the economies of many nations -- including China, Brazil and India -- he said, “The current data display a 15 percent decline in imports of these two countries [Italy and Spain].” However, he added, “Despite all this, we were able to raise our January to July export volume by 10 percent.”
Another point to which Çağlayan drew attention was the depreciation in the exchange rates of the euro and the dollar. “The decline in the exchange rates cost us a $2 billion in the first six months [of the year] and $550 million in July alone,” he said.