World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's energy imports have fallen in the first half of 2013, a first since 2009 when a severe global economic crisis crippled world markets.
State agency TurkStat's figures have revealed a drop of 8.3%, which economists believe is closely linked to a moderate fall in global oil prices earlier this year.
Turkey remains largely foreign-dependent in energy, which means the recent development is interpreted as positive.
Stats show Turkey's energy imports fell from $29.6 billion in 2012 to $27.1 billion this year, a slide of $2.4 billion.
Odeabank Economic Research Manager Inanc Sozer calculates that every $10 drop in oil prices leads to a $5 billion decline in Turkey's annual energy imports.
This means if the oil were as cheap as it was in 2003, at 30 dollars a barrel, Turkey's budget deficit would be 1% of its GDP rather than 6%, Sozer said.
Some analysts believe lackluster growth and a slowdown in consumption and investment also figure in the fall in energy imports.
Banu Kivci of Halk Investment says the mildly downward trend in imports in the last twelve months is correlated with a declining energy bill, from over $60 billion in 2012's first half to $57.7 billion till June this year.
"Apart from falling oil prices, a growth figure well below the economy's potential and resulting drop in oil demand also play a role in the decrease in energy bill."
According to TurkStat figures, Turkey grew 3% in the first three months of 2013, which was higher than expectations but below a strong average of 5.2% over the last decade.