Turkey’s foreign trade deficit widened by 75.1% year-over-year in March, official data showed Friday, propelled by a surging energy bill.
The gap jumped to nearly $8.17 billion in March, according to data by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), up from $4.66 billion a year ago.
Exports climbed by 19.8% to nearly $22.71 billion versus imports of around $30.88 billion, a 30.7% year-over-year increase, according to the general trade system, data from the TurkStat showed.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent global commodity prices soaring, threatening to impact Ankara’s new economic program that aims to record a current account surplus.
Turkey’s energy import bill increased by 154.7% to $8.41 billion in March versus the same month a year ago, the TurkStat said.
The import bill soared due to an increase in global energy prices and a revival in economic activity post-COVID-19.
“Foreign trade deficit, excluding energy products and non-monetary gold, was $136 million in March 2022,” TurkStat said.
Energy accounted for 27.2% of the overall import figure in March, the data showed.
Turkey imported 2.66 million tons of crude oil last month, up from 2.39 million tons in March of 2021.
The country's crude oil imports showed an 11.2% increase compared to March 2021.
The January-March foreign trade deficit reached $26.4 billion, up 138.5% on a yearly basis, the statistical authority noted.
Exports and imports were up by 20.6% and 42% on annual basis to $60.2 billion and $86.6 billion, respectively, in the first three months, Daily Sabah reports.
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