Turkey’s exports for 2015 showed a decline of 8.7 per cent compared with the previous year, falling to US$144bn, according to data from the Exporters’ Assembly of Turkey (TIM).
TIM attributed the disappointing result to fluctuations in parity, decreasing commodity prices and ongoing political conflicts, not least the recent rift between Ankara and Moscow.
Since Russia banned many imports from Turkey in retaliation for the latter’s downing of a Russian jet close to the Syrian border, Turkish sales to Russia have fallen by around 52 per cent, according to TIM.
The ban was largely responsible for a drop in Turkish exports of 12 per cent in December compared with the same month in 2014.
Regional instability equally hit Turkey’s exports, which fell by US$2.4bn to Russia, by US$2.3bn to Iraq and by US$620m to both Ukraine and Libya, according to TIM.
However, minister of the economy Mustafa Elitaş stressed the impact of exchange rate fluctuations on the country’s export figures, above all the rising value of the US dollar.
“While our exports on the euro basis were around €48.3bn in 2014, this figure rose to €53bn in 2015,” he said. “As we announce our final figures on the US dollar, our exports have, however, seen a decrease. Turkey saw around US$12.9bn in losses in its exports due to this parity effect in 2015. If such an effect had not been the case, we would have posted the same export figures as 2014.”