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Turkey’s exports hit all-time high of $256bn in 2023  

The chemical sector was Turkey’s second-largest export industry last year Reuters/Lee Jae-Won
The chemical sector was Turkey’s second-largest export industry last year

Turkey registered exports of $255.81 billion, hitting an all-time high despite the impact of the devastating earthquakes in early 2023.

Exports rose marginally by 0.6 percent from $254 billion in 2022, beating the government’s medium-term programme unveiled last September.

Ankara’s exports fell to $169.5 billion in 2020.

“We have observed a persistent decrease in the trade deficit and current account deficit over the last five months. We believe that this improvement will continue in the upcoming period,” Daily Sabah newspaper reported, citing President Tayyip Erdogan’s speech.

Imports dropped 0.51 percent to $361.85 billion in 2023, according to the trade ministry data.

The foreign trade deficit fell 3.2 percent year on year to $106.04 billion in 2023, while the December deficit dropped 37 percent to $6.1 billion from a year earlier.

Despite these numbers, Turkey’s manufacturing sector deteriorated for a sixth straight month in December, although the industry fared slightly better than in November, according to the latest Istanbul Chamber of Industry’s Turkey PMI Manufacturing Index.

The manufacturing slump coincides with a steep increase in Turkish benchmark interest rates as Erdoğan seeks to tame soaraway inflation after his re-election in May 2023.

Since then, Turkey’s central bank has raised interest rates to 42.5 percent from 8.5 percent.  

The Turkish lira has lost more than a third of its value versus the US currency in the past year, the currency exchange website xe.com said. In the past decade, the lira has fallen 93 percent against the dollar.

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