Turkish exporters managed to achieve their best July sales to date, while the nation's 12-month rolling foreign sales also exceeded a threshold of $200 billion (TL 1.68 trillion) for the first time, Trade Minister Mehmet Muş announced Monday.
The industry representatives have been voicing optimism about performance in the second half of the year, despite many challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Exports totaled $16.4 billion last month, posting a 10% year-on-year increase, Muş told a meeting in the capital Ankara to announce preliminary figures.
The 12-month rolling export figure in July reached $210.5 billion, the minister said, exceeding the long-awaited $200 billion for the first time in history.
Imports also surged 17% to $20.7 billion in the same period, prompting the trade deficit to increase 52.5% to $4.3 billion, the data showed.
Analysts had said the demand would likely further rebound in the third quarter as the pandemic-related restrictions are eased.
Exports have been boosted by recovery among Turkey’s trading partners and the country’s successful vaccination program.
The January-July sales came in at $121.4 billion, surging 35% from the same period a year ago, Muş said.
"If we compare the seven-month figure with the pre-pandemic period (January-July 2019), this also marked a 16.4% increase," he added.
Imports from January through July, jumped 26% on an annual basis to $146.8 billion, according to the data.
The export-to-import coverage ratio went up 5.6 percentage points to 82.7% during the same period, Muş noted.
The foreign trade deficit narrowed 5% to $25.5 billion in the first seven months.
The pandemic led to a 6.26% drop in 2020 exports as Turkey closed the year with $169.5 billion in foreign sales, exceeding the target of $165.9 billion in the medium-term program.
Imports were up 4.3% to reach $219.4 billion. The foreign trade gap widened by 69.12% to $49.9 billion.