World Bulletin / News Desk
Mehmet Buyukeksi, TIM chairman, said: “We suffered a lot from parity, low commodity and petroleum prices, problems in Russia, Iraq, Libya and Syria this year.
“We lost almost $8.7 billion worth of exports in 2016 due to these problems only.
“If these problems did not exist, we'd have exported around $150.8 billion with a five percent increase."
Turkey’s average export unit price per kilogram declined to $1.37 in 2016 from $1.44 in 2015, according to TIM data.
"The loss in the country's exports due to the decline was $3.5 billion in 2016," Buyukeksi added.
Buyukeksi said the exporters’ group had declared 2017 as a "leaping point" for exports. Buyukeksi said it estimated the 2017 export figure to be $155 billion, $1.7 billion above the country's Medium-Term Program.
"We can proudly say, Turkey's share of world trade hit a record and increased to 0.89 percent last year [from] 0.87 in 2015. Turkish exports’ share in EU imports also reached 1.28 percent, marking another record," he added.
The automotive sector was the biggest exporter last year with around $23.9 billion in exports, up from $21.3 billion in 2015.
The second-largest exporting sector -- clothing -- also witnessed a slight increase in exports last year compared to the previous year, closing 2016 at almost $17 billion.
Turkey’s exports to Russia also decreased to $1.8 billion from $3.7 billion. To Iraq Turkish exports fell to $7.2 billion from $8.3 billion, according to TIM data.
In December, 45.5 percent of all exports -- $5.6 billion -- went to EU countries. Germany is the leading export partner, with a 3.7 percent increase in the month.
According to Turkey’s Customs and Trade Ministry on Monday, overall imports in 2016 fell by 4.17 percent to $198.6 billion from $207.23 billion in 2015.
The trade deficit for the year was $55.97 billion, down 11.74 percent compared to $63.41 billion in 2015.