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Türkiye’s trade deficit widens 12.9% in April

Türkiye’s trade deficit widened 12.9% at an annualized pace to 9.7$ billion in April, according to official data released on Thursday.

Turkish exports rose slightly by 0.1% from a year earlier to $19.3 billion in April, while imports increased 4% to $29 billion, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data showed.

Excluding energy products and non-monetary gold, Türkiye last month posted a foreign trade gap of $5.1 billion in April.

The exports-to-imports coverage ratio dropped to 66.1% this April compared to 68.8% last year.

Türkiye’s shipments to its main trading partner Germany totaled $1.5 billion in April, followed by the US with $1.19 billion, the UK with $1.17 billion, Iraq with $876 million and Italy with $861 million.

China was the top source of Türkiye’s imports in April with $3.75 billion, followed by Russia ($3.32 billion), Germany ($2.24 billion), Italy ($1.98 billion) and the US ($1.33 billion).

Commenting on the April data Mehmet Simsek, the Turkish treasury and finance minister, said on X that the hike in foreign trade gap was temporary due to calendar effects.

Simsek said this will also be reflected in the current account deficit, adding: “We expect a decrease in the annual foreign trade gap and current account deficit in May.”

Even though there will be limited fluctuations in the rest of the year due to temporary effects, the current account deficit to GDP ratio is expected to be nearly 2.5% as of the second quarter, Simsek said.

“At the end of the year, the current account deficit will be significantly lower than the medium-term economic program target,” he said.

Turkish government has set a current account deficit to GDP ratio target of 3.1% for 2024 as laid out in the economic program announced last September.

January-April figure

In the first four months of this year, Türkiye’s overseas shipments grew by 2.7% from a year ago to $82.8 billion.

Its imports, on the other hand, fell 9% to $113.8 billion in the same period.

Türkiye’s foreign trade deficit amounted to $30.2 billion in January-April, plunging by 30.5% from last year.