Turkey’s foreign sales to eight countries have hit their highest level to date in May, official data shows, as exporters seek to extend their range and diversify markets.
Senegal, the Dominican Republic, North Macedonia, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Cameroon, Costa Rica and Montenegro received a record amount of Turkish products in May, according to data compiled by the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM).
Increases in sales to the eight markets ranged from nearly 80% to over 600% on an annual level, the data from the umbrella organization of Turkey’s exporters’ associations said.
Turkey has unveiled action plans and sought to engage with new strategies to promote its brands and goods, particularly stressing its determination to focus on alternative markets and efforts to boost sales to distant geographies.
Its exporters have managed to achieve record sales from January through May this year. The 12-month rolling export figure reached $242.6 billion as of last month.
Exports had ended 2021 at $225.4 billion, a figure that government and economists expect to reach $250 billion this year. Officials have been stressing views that the goal would be reached even before year-end.
The January-May sales jumped 20.4% year-over-year to $102.5 billion, while imports were up nearly 41% to $145.74 billion, the data showed.
May foreign sales rose 15.2% year-over-year to $19 billion, the TIM data showed. Imports were up 43.8% from a year ago to $29.7 billion, driven by soaring energy costs that have been widening the country’s trade deficit.
Energy accounted for a whopping $6.9 billion of imports in May, pushing the foreign trade gap to a fresh record high of $10.7 billion, a 157% increase from a year ago.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent global commodity prices soaring, endangering Ankara’s new economic program that aims to tackle high inflation with a current account surplus.
In May, Turkey’s exports to Senegal jumped 190% on annual basis to $87.2 million, soared 629% to $71.2 million to the Dominican Republic and increased 87% to $66.5 million to North Macedonia.
Sales to Rwanda skyrocketed 821% year-over-year to $32 million, while they increased 76.5% to Tajikistan to reach $31.5 million, and rose 211% to Cameroon, hitting $30.8 million.
In the same month, exports to Costa Rica soared 403% on annual basis to $28.4 million, while exports to Montenegro jumped 200% to $28.2 million.
The steel industry saw the largest amount in exports to five of the eight countries.
Steel exports to Senegal amounted to $41.7 million in May, accounting for nearly half of total exports to the West African country. Steel exports to the Dominican Republic stood at $61.3 million – an 86% share of total exports.
Steel exports to North Macedonia totaled $25.8 million last month, and almost $15.4 million to Cameroon, accounting for half of the total exports to that country.
Steel exports to Costa Rica were $26.7 million in May – a 94% share of total exports to the country.
The same commodity exports to Rwanda stood at $200,000 last month, with just a 0.6% share, whereas they reached $269,000 to Tajikistan for a 0.85% share, and $291,600 to Montenegro with a 1% share.
Istanbul was the top Turkish city making the highest amount of exports to those eight countries.
Companies in Istanbul exported $74.7 million worth of goods to Senegal in May, with an 85.6% share in Turkey’s exports to the country.
Istanbul firms’ goods exports to the Dominican Republic stood at $62.3 million, with an 87.5% share, and it was $27.3 million for North Macedonia for a 41% share.
The Turkish metropolis’ exports to Rwanda last month came in at $29.1 million – a 90.9% share.
There was $13.8 million worth of goods exported to Tajikistan from Istanbul for a 43.8% share, $18.8 million to Cameroon with a 61% share, $26.2 million to Costa Rica with a massive 92.2% share and $24.4 million to Montenegro for an 86.5% share.