Exports up 65.5% to hit USD 16.5bn in May

The country’s exports hit USD16.5bn in May, up by 65.5% year-on-year, according to Trade Minister Mehmet Mus.

“We achieved the second-highest-ever May figure,” Mehmet Mus said in a news conference in the capital Ankara, citing preliminary export figures.

The 12-month rolling export figures reached USD 193.3bn in May, the highest ever yearly figures, the minister underlined.

He stressed that imports also jumped 54% on an annual basis to USD 20.6bn last month.

The foreign trade deficit was USD 4.1bn in May.

The exports/imports coverage ratio was 80% last month, up by 5.6 percentage points on a yearly basis, he added.

With normalization steps in the pandemic period, the country aims to surpass its export target of USD 198bn in 2021 and reach over USD 200bn levels, Mus stated.

In the January-May period exports surged 38.3% year-on-year to USD 85.2bn, he said.

The export-import coverage ratio increased by 7.8 points to 82.3% in this period, the minister added.


With the recovery period starting in the last quarter of 2020 ongoing in 2021, Mus recalled that the national economy grew 7% in the first quarter of this year.

There is recovery in several fields including agriculture, manufacturing, and services, he said.

He also said investments also contributed to GDP growth as they increased 11.4% in the January-March period.

“We do not see the normalization process as tracking back, we continue to produce proactive policies for the changing world,” the minister underlined.

Chemical sector leader in exports

Ismail Gulle, the head of the Turkish Exporters’ Assembly (TIM), said exporters posted a significant performance in May despite a 17-day lockdown.

Year on year in May, 25 sectors increased their exports while the steel sector saw its highest exports figure in the country’s history, Gulle stated.

He stressed that the chemical sector was the leader in exports with USD 2.13bn, with automotive (USD 1.88bn) and steel sectors (USD 1.74bn) following it.

In May, exporters made exports to 214 countries and regions, while exports to 175 countries rose, he said.

Germany (USD 1.4bn), the U.S. (USD 1.15bn), and the UK (USD 1.1bn) were the main export destinations, according to Gulle.

EU agenda

Mus said the country aims to benefit from its proximity to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East markets for exports and to reinforce its supremacy in the supply field.

Touching on the EU agenda, he said the country sees the EU membership bid as an anchor for increasing standards in every field.

The country finds the EU’s standards important and maintains its determined stance on its way to EU membership, the minister explained.

“In this regard, we had a phone call with Valdis Dombrovskis, the executive vice-president of the EU Commission, on Friday, and set a roadmap for our bilateral trade with the EU,” Mus said.

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